Suspect in meth raid pleads not guilty

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AUBURN — A Lewiston man whose apartment was raided in February by state drug agents seeking evidence of methamphetamine manufacturing pleaded not guilty Thursday to two felony charges.

James Ludlow, 35, was charged with unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and violation of conditions of release.

He remained free on $1,500 cash bail. He hoped to have an Androscoggin County Superior Court judge drop one of the conditions of his bail, which barred him from having contact with his fiancee. Pamela Connor, 26, also has been charged with unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs.

Deputy District Attorney Craig Turner argued in favor of keeping the restriction on Ludlow, pointing out that his case is joined with Connor’s.

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She was at his Omer Street apartment at the time of the raid, according to court records. He was at work at General Electric at the time. Ludlow had been on conditional release for an assault charge against Connor.

Police said they found pseudoephedrine tablets, coffee filters containing suspected methamphetamine residue, solvents and plastic bags containing small quantities of the suspected drugs at Ludlow’s apartment.

Tom Goodwin, Ludlow’s attorney, said his client’s inability to talk to Connor might make it difficult him to defend himself against the charges.

Connor, who is free on $500 cash bail, is expected in court for arraignment next month. She was in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Thursday for a hearing on custody of her child, whose father is Eric Merrill, 29, of Auburn.

Merrill had been scheduled Thursday for arraignment on charges of drug trafficking. His home on Minot Avenue was raided by state drug agents about a month after Ludlow’s arrest.

Agents dressed in chemical-resistant suits and breathing with respirators converged on the two homes and seized evidence of methamphetamine making, police said.

Merrill is free on $1,000 cash bail and is scheduled for arraignment next month.

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