FARMINGTON — The arrest of an Avon man Friday night and the confiscation of illegal drugs and $144,008 in cash was one of the largest drug busts in Franklin County, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said Tuesday.

Stacks of money, a variety of guns, bags of marijuana and bottles of pills, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, were displayed on a table in the new county communications center.

The arrest of Daryl “Poochie” Searles, 56, was the culmination of an investigation that had been going on for months, Nichols said during a news conference.

Searles was arrested Friday at his home at 148 Avon Valley Road on felony charges of aggravated trafficking in oxycodone and hydrocodone, and unlawful trafficking in marijuana, Nichols said.

Members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Maine State Police and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency were involved in the arrest.

Police confiscated 442 pills, which represented nine different prescription narcotics. Their street value ranged from $9,277 to $18,555, depending on the location they were sold, he said.

The strength of the pills ranged from 5 milligrams of hydrocodone up to 30 milligrams of oxycodone.

Taking that amount of pills off the street is significant, Nichols said.

Police also seized 2.1 pounds of marijuana with a street value of more than $4,000, Nichols said.

Seven firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, also were confiscated.

Investigators worked on the case for months and they made the arrest after getting enough evidence and probable cause to get a search warrant, Nichols said.

Police need to have all their “ducks in a row” before a search warrant can be obtained, he said.

“What people don’t see is our investigators put in a lot of time behind the scenes,” Nichols said.

He said it is unfortunate the Legislature didn’t give the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency the money to expand because this is not going to stop.

Searles, a lifelong resident of the Phillips area, was released from jail Saturday on $2,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear in court June 3.

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