Public tips to police play large role in drug bust

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MEXICO — Police Chief Roy Hodsdon said tips from the public played a huge role in Friday’s drug bust that placed three Massachusetts men and three Mainers behind bars.

“The tips are what does this,” he said. “Without that help, it really makes an investigation hard. These are long investigations and they take a lot of resources, time and money.”

Following that drug seizure on March 1 when seven people from Mexico, Rumford and Lewiston were arrested in a drug bust that yielded over 100 grams of crack cocaine, Hodsdon said people came forward, some anonymously, with information because “they’re just tired of the drugs and want to do what they can to help.”

Hodsdon said the drug bust went as well as he had hoped.

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“Everyone was arrested that needed to be arrested,” he said. “We found a substantial amount of drugs — cocaine and heroin — with some cash seized.”

Around 4 a.m. Friday, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency raided mobile homes at 93 and 107 Chase Ave. in Mexico as part of an ongoing investigation into the interstate trafficking of heroin and cocaine in greater Rumford-Mexico.

Agents say they seized heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine with a street value of $13,000. They also found $950 in cash.

Hodsdon said more than 30 law enforcement people from MDEA, Rumford and Mexico police, State Police and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office were involved.

“I really believe that this put a large dent in the drug trade in the area,” he said.

Being a small department, Hodsdon said in cases like this he has to rely on other agencies. 

“I’m humbled for that,” he said. “We provided as much as we could to help them, but it’s a small piece.”

He said a drug bust like this requires funds, multiple agencies and time to investigate.

“It’s just too much for one agency in this area,” he said. “We have to rely on each other. It’s important to put aside any differences you may have or had in the past and come work together. You have to do that.”

Hodsdon said there’s no boundaries for these drug dealers.

“It just so happens they were on this side of the river today,” he said. “We know it could be on their (Rumford) side tomorrow. But if they’re selling in Mexico, they’re selling in Dixfield, Rumford, Peru. They’re selling everywhere.”

This investigation had been going on since the beginning of the year.

Following these arrests, the message Hodsdon gives is that “It’s important to know that if they’re going to come into our area and try to sell drugs, we will take it seriously and we will stop them. We’re not going to roll over.”

For the Mexico Police Department tipline, call 207-364-5686.

For the Rumford Police Department tipline, go to www.rumfordpd.com/tips.htm. It is totally anonymous unless someone chooses to share their name.

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

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