PORTLAND — A Wales man appeared in federal court Thursday on a drug charge involving fentanyl stemming from a July traffic stop .

Ryan Caron Androscoggin County Jail photo

Drug agents said Ryan Caron, 36, had been a passenger in a car that was stopped on I-95 on July 29 by Maine State Police for an obstructed license plate.

The officer asked Caron about a small, white rock-like substance near his groin area. Caron said it was cocaine, which was later determined to be crack.

When he was arrested and searched, officers found two sandwich baggies containing nearly 50 grams of fentanyl in the pocket of his shorts.

He faces a Class C felony charge of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million.

A judge in U.S. District Court on Thursday said Caron would remain in custody until a bail hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Caron, a self-employed roofer, was determined to be eligible for a court-appointed attorney. Lewiston defense attorney Verne Paradie was assigned to the case.

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