WEST PARIS — Maine State Police Trooper Jason Wing said the agency is offering to have troopers give presentations to communities in order to stop the flow of illegal drugs into Maine.

“The key is, we obviously want to get the community involved,” Wing told members of the Ring McKeen American Legion Post 151 on Friday. He said a presentation in Otisfield this year drew 110 people.

Prices for opiate drugs are higher in Maine, he said, and that’s attracting many dealers here. And the growing drug problem has deadly consequences.

There have been at least four recent fatal heroin overdoses in the area.

“Most of you have heard that we’ve been finding needles at public areas spread throughout the town,” Wing said. “There is a significant problem in West Paris. It’s not just drugs; it’s other crime problems, too.”

A state police flier acknowledges the drug epidemic stems from outside Maine.

“With the significant increase in out-of-state drug traffickers, we need your help,” the flier reads. “Area law enforcement cannot begin to remove the drugs unless residents step forward and provide us with the necessary information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the individuals responsible.”

State police are asking citizens to actively keep watch and report any suspicious activity, he said.

“Small communities in Maine kind of like to keep things in house,'” Wing said, “so it’s very hard for us to get into those communities and get people to trust us to the point where we can really make the impact that we’d like to.”

The flier also states: “If you have friends or family that are addicted to drugs, we want to help them break contact with their supplier and to provide them with the information to get themselves help with their addiction.”

Troop B barracks in Gray can be reached at 207-657-3030 or toll free at 800-228-0857. Crimes or suspicious activity in Androscoggin, Cumberland and Oxford counties may be reported by visiting maine.gov/dps/msp/criminal_investigation/report_crime/troopb.html.

For other counties, crimes or suspicious activity may be reported at maine.gov/dps/msp/criminal_investigation/tip_line.html.

Calls made to Troop B can be relayed to other Maine State Police barracks.


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