PORTLAND (AP) – A Maine man wanted on a drug trafficking charge was on the loose Monday in Colorado after avoiding arrest by running into a cornfield, police said.

Jason Belmer, 25, of Corinna, is wanted in Maine for allegedly burying eight pounds of cocaine in his grandmother’s back yard.

A Colorado State Patrol trooper stopped a 1994 Saturn for speeding at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 70 near Burlington in eastern Colorado. The driver, Melissa Carmack, 27, of Corinna, was listed as a missing person out of Maine and taken into custody.

Belmer, the passenger, provided a false name to the trooper, said Master Trooper Ron Watkins. During a search, Belmer attempted to assault the trooper and steal his gun before running into the corn field, Watkins said.

“He’s out there somewhere, still at large,” Watkins said.

Authorities used reverse 911 to alert nearby residents and searched the area with airplanes and tracking dogs, but the manhunt was called off because of rain.

Officials believe Belmer knocked on a farmhouse door near Burlington late Saturday, but the farmer refused to answer and told Belmer to turn himself in, Watkins said.

Belmer has a history of running from authorities.

Belmer briefly escaped from custody five years ago when he was facing burglary charges. He crashed through a window in a Maine courthouse and jumped off a bridge into a river. He was later found in his underwear on a sandbar.

In August, Belmer ran from his grandmother’s home in Corinna after police arrived and allegedly found a large stash of cocaine buried in her back yard. Maine Drug Enforcement Administration officials said the cocaine had a street value of up to $380,000.

Police issued an advisory last week saying Carmack was being sought after her car was found abandoned in the town of Medford.

AP-ES-09-06-04 1531EDT



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