PARIS — A local man accused of selling a powerful synthetic opiate that is sometimes mixed with heroin or sold as heroin was denied bail Wednesday afternoon in 11th District Court.

Troy W. Masterman, 40, of 292 Christian Ridge Road is charged with trafficking in fentanyl, a painkiller 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said Tuesday.

Agents seized 140 doses of the suspected drug from his home Monday afternoon, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Masterman is charged with trafficking in fentanyl and with violating his conditions of release set in 2015 by allegedly engaging in criminal activity.

“The best predictor of the future is the past,” Judge Patrick Ende said in denying Masterman bail because of the charge of violating conditions of release.

Assistant District Attorney Rick Beauchesne said Masterman allegedly “provided a drug that is killing people every day.”

He also gave details of Masterman’s criminal history, which dates back to 1993 and includes convictions for theft, burglary, domestic violence assault, obstructing the report of a crime, violating conditions of release and criminal threatening.

Beauchesne requested bail be set at $10,000 for the drug trafficking charge, but Ende reduced the amount to $5,000.

Pretrial case manager Lauretta Sanborn said that Masterman will receive an automatic evaluation for supervised release back into the community, and she will make recommendations to his court-appointed attorney, Maurice Porter, and the court, based on the results of that evaluation.

Ende set a hearing for May 6 to determine if Masterman violated conditions of release. Bail conditions may be re-examined at that time.

Ende cautioned Masterman to be very careful with his communication while in confinement because even telephone conversations are routinely recorded. He was transferred to Cumberland County Jail in Portland on Wednesday, an Oxford County Jail corrections officer said.

Masterman was arrested Monday “as part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal distribution of heroin and fentanyl throughout the Oxford Hills area … ,” according to a news release from McCausland.

“The investigation revealed Masterman to be one of a number of people suspected of distributing heroin and/or fentanyl throughout the towns of Paris, Norway and Oxford,” the release said.

According to McCausland’s statement, “Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and is often used in the mixing process with heroin or sold as heroin. There is an increased chance of a user overdosing when they believe the drug they are using is heroin but is actually fentanyl.”

Mixing fentanyl with street-sold heroin or cocaine markedly amplifies their potency and potential dangers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Effects include euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance and addiction, according to the institute.

Agents from the MDEA Western District Task Force, along with officers from the Paris, Oxford and Norway police departments, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police, executed a search warrant at Masterman’s home at about 3:30 p.m. Monday, McCausland wrote.

Approximately 14 grams, or 140 doses, of suspected fentanyl, scales and drug ledgers, along with other items indicative of drug distribution, were seized. The estimated street value of the fentanyl is $2,500, McCausland wrote.

The investigation is continuing and additional arrests for heroin and fentanyl distribution are anticipated, McCausland wrote.


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