PORTLAND — A New York man who authorities said was a dealer who twice hauled illegal drugs aboard a commercial bus to Auburn denied a related charge Tuesday.

Drug agents arrested Dwayne “J.B.” Willis, 18, of New York City in Lewiston on Aug. 22, 2019, on a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a mixture of substance containing fentanyl. He pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday. The Class C felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

According to court records, Willis communicated with Hailey R. Bouchard, 29, of Brunswick by text message on Aug. 19, 2019, asking her to pick him up at the Concord Coach Lines terminal at Maine Turnpike Exit 75 on Washington Street in Auburn. Bouchard later told drug agents Willis had stayed with her and Eric Lester Farnham at their Brunswick home and that he was their only drug supplier, according to an affidavit written by Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Jerod Verrill.

On Aug. 21, Willis texted Bouchard that he had arrived at the Auburn bus station and was seeking a ride to their Brunswick home. On Aug. 21, agents spotted Willis in Bouchard’s car on route to her Brunswick home.

Willis was later given a ride to a home in Lisbon, Verrill wrote in his affidavit.

Agents had used a confidential informant who had bought fentanyl from Farnham for $50 on Aug. 19, 2019, with marked government money. Two days later, the informant bought half a gram of fentanyl from Farnham.

Agents executed a search warrant at the Brunswick couple’s home that day and had secured warrants to search their phones.

They arrested Farnham, who was in the passenger seat of a car parked in his driveway. He appeared to be engaged in drug activity with a person who wasn’t identified by name in Verrill’s affidavit. A search of Farnham turned up $60 in cash, drug paraphernalia, including a crack pipe and a tied-off corner bag with white powder inside. It weighed 3.2 grams and was confirmed as fentanyl or methamphetamine.

The other person in the car produced one-quarter of a gram of fentanyl from under the driver’s seat for which they said they had paid Farnham $60.

Inside the Brunswick home, agents found white powder on a scale and drug paraphernalia that included spoons, needles and crack pipes. They arrested Bouchard.

On Aug. 22, 2019, drug agents were seeking Willis’ whereabouts and set up surveillance outside a home in Lisbon. Bouchard texted Willis, asking him to come back to her Brunswick home. He agreed, but then stopped communicating with her, according to Verrill’s affidavit.

Agents received information that Willis had a lot of “white” or fentanyl in his possession and would be picked up at the Lisbon home and driven to Lewiston later that day.

A car pulled up outside the Lisbon home and drove Willis as far as Webster Street in Lewiston, where agents pulled over the car. Agents confirmed he was Bouchard’s drug connection by calling his phone with hers. Agents found more than 10 grams of fentanyl on Willis as well as five $20 bills used by confidential informants to buy drugs the day before from Farnham.

He told agents this had been his second trip to Maine and that he had been at the couple’s Brunswick home. He said he brought drugs to Maine for resale.

Farnham and Bouchard are facing the same charge as Willis. Farnham pleaded not guilty earlier this month; Bouchard has not been arraigned.

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