FARMINGTON — A Wilton man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a Franklin County court to selling crack cocaine from his home on Temple Road in April.

Dennis Ayala, 55, was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on June 28 on a felony charge of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs and civil criminal forfeiture. A conviction on the drug charge is punishable by a maximum 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

The charge originates from a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the fatal drug overdose of a Wyman Township man last spring.

Investigators received information leading them to Ayala’s residence, where police seized $6,628 in cash believed to be drug money, scales, crack cocaine, heroin and “numerous other items related to illicit drug use, packaging and sale,” according to Detective Stephen Charles’ affidavit.

Following a bail check on May 23 at his home, Ayala was arrested on one charge of unlawful possession of a drug that contained fentanyl powder and two charges of violation of bail conditions. According to Maine State Police Sgt. Mathew Casavant’s sworn statement, Ayala was found hiding in his attic with marijuana plants. Defense attorney Margot Joly of Wilton told the court in May that Ayala was sleeping at the time.

Fentanyl is an opioid used to relieve pain and is used illegally as a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or cocaine.

Judge Matthew Tice approved Joly’s request Tuesday to amend Ayala’s bail to $50,000 cash, which was already his cash bail set in the May case, and to eliminate the alternative bail of $100,000 worth of real estate.

Ayala, who was taken into federal custody June 7, pleaded not guilty June 27 to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess a controlled substance, namely heroin and fentanyl; and knowingly and intentionally aided and abetted the possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, according to a court document.

A conviction on each federal charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

Ayala is being held without bail on the federal charges.

He is being represented in the federal case by attorney Walter McKee of Augusta.

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Dennis Ayala (Franklin County Detention Center)


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