PORTLAND (AP) – A routine traffic stop in Dayton led to three drug arrests and the seizure of 24 pounds of marijuana valued at about $43,000, authorities said.

“This was a routine patrol,” said Trooper Jeremy Forbes, who made the stop on Route 5 that began the investigation Tuesday.

After Forbes stopped Shane Randall, 39, of Portland, and Jason Schildroth, 29, of Saco, for driving without a front license plate, troopers searched their car and found five ounces of marijuana.

Randall and Schildroth were both arrested. Randall, who was driving the car, told police the two had bought the drugs at a house in Newfield, and gave police directions and a description of the house.

State police and Maine Drug Enforcement agents went to the house, which was owned by Schildroth’s brother, Eric, and found another pound of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia, Forbes said.

Eric Schildroth, 25, and Paula Gosselin, 22, who was also living at the house, were given a summons for trafficking in marijuana, but were not arrested after cooperating with police.

Eric Schildroth also told police that they had bought the drugs from another person, which led police to a home in Casco.

At that home, police arrested Philip Schoolcraft, 56, after finding 24 pounds of marijuana and $50,000 cash.

Schoolcraft was taken to Cumberland County Jail and charged with aggravated trafficking in marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Police said Schoolcraft has been convicted of other drug-related crimes, and may be prosecuted in federal court.

Schoolcraft was released Wednesday after posting the $25,000 bail. Randall and Jason Schildroth were also released on bail.

“This was commercial grade, probably from out west somewhere,” said Scott Pelletier, supervisor of the Cumberland County unit of the state Drug Enforcement Agency.

“The investigation is absolutely continuing. It started out small, we got 24 pounds, and we’re obviously going to continue the investigation to find out where the source is.”

AP-ES-10-09-03 0217EDT

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