PARIS — A judge at Oxford County Superior Court lowered bail Wednesday for a Mexico man charged with heroin trafficking from $50,000 to $20,000.

Bricknell Dorelas, 34, has been in jail since Sept. 23, when he and four others were arrested in a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigation.

The others charged were Joseph “Rasta” Kabamba, 20, of Portland; Bilal ”B” Mohammed, 24, of Portland; Chelsie Belskis, 30, of Mexico; and Nicole Belskis, 32, of Mexico. All five were charged with unlawful trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to commit unlawful trafficking in heroin.

MDEA agents searched homes at 105, 107 and 109 Chase Ave. in Mexico after a two-month investigation of a large-scale crack cocaine and heroin trafficking ring in the area, according to a statement from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Investigators said Dorelas, Kabamba and Mohammed would use local heroin users’ homes and have the users sell heroin and cocaine base for them in exchange for free drugs.

The three men usually would hide in back rooms of the residences during the drug transactions, according to McCausland. Chelsie and Nicole Belskis are accused of selling heroin and cocaine provided by the three men.

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Attorney Maurice Porter, who is representing Dorelas, originally requested that Dorelas’ bail be lowered from $50,000 to $5,000.

He told Judge Susan Oram that the charges against Dorelas were “very serious,” but that the “current bail doesn’t serve any particular purpose” other than to “ensure Mr. Dorelas stays in jail until a trial.”

“Mr. Dorelas entered the U.S. in 2001 (from Haiti) and was arrested and charged with entering the country illegally,” Porter said. “He ended up not being convicted, and was found to have entered legally. However, during that time, he was summonsed three times to appear in federal court, and all three times, he flew back and forth from Massachusetts to Florida. He didn’t miss a single date.

“He knows that being a green card holder, and not a U.S. citizen, missing any dates puts him at great, great risk of being deported,” he continued.

Porter also argued that the Belskis sisters were not credible witnesses, because they have been charged with drug trafficking in the past.

“They’re both admitted drug traffickers, and they pointed to this man as the person who supplied the drugs,” Porter said. “And by the way, both of them are out on bail.”

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Nicole Belskis’ bail was set at $10,000 cash, while Chelsie Belskis’ was set at $500 cash, or $2,500 with a pretrial service contract.

Porter said Dorelas did not know any of the other men who were arrested on Sept. 23, and had no drugs on his person or property at the time of his arrest.

Porter said that the flight risk argument of the prosecution didn’t hold up.

“If he were to flee these charges, he’d be returned to the hell he lived in in Haiti, where he spent the first 18 years of his life,” Porter said. “Mr. Dorelas is a man of God, and he is putting his trust in this court and God.”

Assistant Attorney General David Fisher told Oram that there was “also a third individual who identified Mr. Dorelas as one of the traffickers,” not just the Belskis sisters.

“We aren’t here to litigate the underlying charges at this time,” and that “90 percent of our case comes from the credibility of witnesses,” Fisher said.

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“That, ultimately, is what a jury is going to have to determine,” Fisher said. “Whether or not these three people who implicated Mr. Dorelas are credible.”

Porter shot back that “part of setting bail is looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case.”

“When you see three drug traffickers who are white, from Maine, from the United States, pointing their fingers at the black gentleman in the room, it doesn’t add a lot of credibility to their case,” Porter said.

Oram took a recess to review the arguments and returned to rule Dorelas’ bail be lowered from $50,000 to $20,000.

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