FARMINGTON — Franklin County Detective Stephen Charles was recognized Monday as Deputy of the Quarter during a county commissioners’ meeting.

Commissioners also accepted the resignations of two corporals at the Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. David St. Laurent said Charles, who was honored for the third quarter, has been assigned to drug investigations for the past year.

During his tenure, Charles “has been relentless in investigating drug activity in Franklin County. He has the gift to talk to people and has been able to gain valuable information that has led to numerous search warrants with prosecution of persons trafficking in illegal drugs,” St. Laurent said.

One case that stands out was that of Daryl “Poochie” Searles of Avon and involved 400 pills, firearms, and $144,000 in cash being seized, he said. During the investigation Charles also identified other drug traffickers who were traveling to Franklin County from southern Maine, which led to other police agencies being able to execute search warrants with successful prosecution, St. Laurent said.

Charles also assisted in another investigation where three people were arrested from Carthage along with others in the Rumford area. During that investigation Charles identified a larger, drug-trafficking ring from other states, which remains under investigation, he said.


“Detective Charles has active investigations ongoing where he is the primary investigator and he is assisting other agencies in Franklin County with combating the drug trade of heroin and other illegal drugs that seems to be filtrating our communities in Franklin County,” St. Laurent said.

Charles lives in Phillips and was promoted from corporal to patrol detective in 2013.

In other business, commissioners voted to accept, with regret, the resignations of former Cpls. Christopher Chase and Nate Reid. Both resigned for personal reasons, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said.

One of them is already working at a new job, he said.

“They were both good officers,” he said.

The positions have been posted in house and advertised.


Commissioners also voted to retire police dog Abbie and to  transfer ownership to Chase, who has been her handler since she was 6 months old. They decided she is too advanced in her life to train with another handler, Nichols said.

In 2011, commissioners accepted Abbie from Von Woden Kennels in Weld in exchange for a $6,000 charitable donation receipt for tax purposes for the kennel. The kennel is owned by Lt. David Rackliffe of Weld.

In another Sheriff’s Office matter, commissioners voted to hire Ted Neil, a Farmington police officer, as a part-time reserve officer.

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