Kevin Soto

A man with prior felony drug trafficking convictions in New York was arrested Wednesday after police found cocaine and what they believe to be heroin after searching a Gardiner apartment where he was staying.

Kevin Soto, 27, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in a scheduled drug after officers from Gardiner police, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency searched an apartment at 20 Mount Vernon St. in Gardiner.

Police found a plastic bag of cocaine base, or crack, and what they believed to be heroin in the bedroom where Soto was staying, according to an affidavit written by Katelyn Nichols, a special agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. A handheld device that analyzes drugs confirmed one of the substances located was cocaine base. The other substance, which police believe was heroin, resulted in an inconclusive test. Nichols wrote in the affidavit that result is not uncommon when testing for suspected heroin because of cutting agents that can be used with that narcotic.

A female occupant of the apartment told police she knew Soto was selling cocaine base and heroin from the residence.

Soto, according to the affidavit, has felony convictions, all from New York state, for criminal sale of controlled substances in 2011 and 2016; and a felony conviction on a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell in 2013.

Soto was arrested and taken to the Kennebec County jail, with bail initially set at $50,000.

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