One of three co-defendants in heroin case gets bail lowered

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FARMINGTON – Three people charged with trafficking in heroin, cocaine and other drugs Monday in Rangeley had their bail set in 12th District Court on Wednesday.

Michael Chandler, 33, of Philadelphia, Pa., Tyler McFarland, 31, of Gray, and Jami Lee Driscoll, 23, of Auburn, appeared before Judge Nancy Carlson.

Maine Drug Enforcement agents, along with other law enforcement officers, searched a home on Main Street and a room at Saddleback Motor Inn on Sunday night into Monday and discovered $8,200 in cash, 257 bags of prepackaged heroin, 20 grams of prepackaged crack cocaine, 3½ grams of powdered cocaine and about 60 30-milligram oxycodone pills and amphetamine capsules, digital scales and packaging used for heroin with heroin residue on it between the two places, MDEA Supervisor Matt Cashman said.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins asked the court to set $10,000 cash bail for Chandler, who is charged on a felony count of aggravated unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, namely heroin.

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A conviction on that charge carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Robbins said that $7,000 in cash was found next to Chandler in the Rangeley house. There was also packaging with heroin residue, he said.

According to an affidavit filed in court by drug Agent Brian Ross, information was received that Chandler was in possession of approximately 100 blue wax-paper bags containing heroin and crack cocaine. There was also information that Chandler had a gold four-door sedan and it was parked at the house.

Ross obtained a search warrant and in the house he found evidence of drug packaging in the room Chandler was sleeping in.

“We conducted interviews of the occupants and learned that Chandler was nervous about police raiding the house so he moved a stash of drugs to the Saddleback Motor Inn, Room 25,” Ross wrote in his affidavit.

Ross wrote that he learned McFarland was occupying Room 25 and was on probation for robbery and aggravated assault. Law enforcers went to the room and found digital scales and large amount of prepackaged crack cocaine and heroin in a black container.

“Two occupants of the room admitted that Chandler had arrived and left again quickly,” Ross wrote.

Defense attorney Christopher Dilworth said in court Wednesday that no drugs were found at the Main Street house.

Dilworth asked that Chandler’s bail be set at $5,000 cash. He also has a car that was left at the house and if he made bail he wanted to go get it. The keys of the gold 2011 Malibu were left with one of the occupants at the house, he said.

Robbins said he had no objections to Chandler going to get the car if he is accompanied by Rangeley police or Franklin County Sheriff deputies and if it had not been impounded.

Robbins said he believed people at the house saw a police cruiser pull in and an officer walk around a car parked there and left. There was an opportunity to move the drugs then, he said.

Dilworth said he was told that the inn was several miles away. He also said that one of the other occupants at the house, who are not co-defendants, claimed syringes as their own.

Robbins said the wrappers found at the house were those that were described by the confidential informant.

Judge Carlson set bail at $10,000 cash with the stipulation that Chandler could get his car if he was accompanied by a police officer or a deputy. She ordered Chandler to have no contact with the two occupants of the house and the two co-defendants.

Robbins asked for $5,000 cash bail for McFarland, who is charged on a count of felony trafficking in heroin. He said McFarland is on a probation hold and being held without bail because of a 2007 conviction of robbery and elevated aggravated assault. McFarland received an 18-year sentence with all but four years suspended and four years of probation.

A conviction on the trafficking charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.

Dilworth asked for $2,500 cash bail. He said he realized McFarland is being held on a probation hold but it is unknown what the probation officer will do. Dilworth said McFarland told him he has a good working relationship with the probation officer.

Robbins said 257 bags of heroin were confiscated in the search.

According to Ross’ affidavit, police found prepackaged heroin, crack cocaine and more than $1,000 in currency.

“McFarland admitted to possession of the drugs,” Ross wrote.

Judge Carlson set McFarland’s bail at $5,000 on the new charge and gave him the same release conditions as Chandler.

Robbins asked for $2,500 cash bail for Driscoll, who is charged on a count of felony trafficking in scheduled drugs. Her bail was initially set at $7,500.

Robbins said Driscoll has very little criminal history, if any. She has a pending traffic violation, he said.

The bulk of the heroin was found in her purse, Robbins said.

Dilworth said she has a 5-month-old baby who is in her mother’s care. She believes she can make the $2,500 bail, he said.

Judge Carlson said the bail at $2,500 cash with the same conditions as co-defendants.

According to Ross’ affidavit, when he conducted the probation violation search on McFarland, McFarland had taken possession of a woman’s purse. Inside the purse was Driscoll’s personal items, insurance cards and prepackaged heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, Ross wrote. There were also scales on top of a dresser.

A status conference was set for all three defendants on March 22 in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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