Earl R. Hassan Androscoggin County Jail photo

AUBURN — A man on Philadelphia’s Most Wanted List for a murder charge was arrested late Tuesday night after local police stopped the car he was in for an expired registration.

Earl R. Hassan, 44, of Philadelphia was taken into custody around 11 p.m. after police confirmed his identity and learned there was a warrant from Pennsylvania for his arrest on a murder charge, according to an affidavit by Auburn police Sgt. Nicholas Gagnon.

The arrest and searches of Hassan and a camper he rented on Eastman Lane led to the seizure of more than a pound of crack cocaine and more than $20,000 in cash.

Hassan appeared Wednesday in 8th District Court in Lewiston where Judge Jennifer Archer appointed an attorney to represent him. She ordered Hassan to be held without bail at Androscoggin County Jail pending a status conference Dec. 2.

Gagnon wrote that a confidential source said a major drug trafficker was selling from a camper on the property of Billie Jo Garland at 9 Eastman Lane. The suspected trafficker was described as a large black male who uses the monikers “Big,” “Big Black” and “Black.”

About 11 p.m. Tuesday, Gagnon saw a car backing out of the Garlands’ driveway. He turned around and pulled the car over after noticing it had expired registration plates. He identified the driver as Billie Jo Garland. In the car was Garland’s wife, Amanda, in the front seat, and a man later identified as Hassan in the back seat. Hassan presented a fake Delaware license, according to the affidavit.


After Gagnon found Pennsylvania ID cards on the floor of the back seat confirming Hassan’s identity, a search of his name revealed an arrest warrant from Pennsylvania. Gagnon placed him in two sets of handcuffs due to his size — 6-feet, 1-inch tall and weighing 400 pounds — according to the affidavit.

A search of Hassan revealed a large sum of cash in his rear pocket, over $20,000 in cash, according to the affidavit.

Gagnon said he noticed a bulge in Amanda Garland’s shirt and asked her to empty her pockets. She pulled out what appeared to be a crack pipe and a pack of cigarettes, which she tried to toss on the roof of the car. Inside the container was a white chunk of crack cocaine. She admitted having a container in her bra, which her husband retrieved. It was found to have crack cocaine. She said she was holding it for Hassan, according to the affidavit.

Gagnon then went to the Garlands’ home, where Billie Jo said he rented a camper to Hassan.

Executing a search warrant for the camper, Gagnon found 518 grams of a white chunky substance that field tested positive for cocaine, according to the affidavit. The amount was a little more than one pound or just over half a kilogram.

Police also found a digital scale with residue, a razor blade with residue and other evidence suggesting drug trafficking.


Hassan was booked at the Androscoggin County Jail on a charge of being a fugitive from justice.

A summons on a false identification charge will be issued before his extradition to Pennsylvania. A possible drug charge will be reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to the affidavit.

“Due to Auburn Police Department’s partnership with the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, with an Auburn sergeant assigned as a Task Force officer, Hassan will be referred for federal drug charges for the cocaine possession as a result of the search warrant and drug proceeds seizure,” according to a Wednesday news release from the Auburn Police Department.

Through the attorney who represented Hassan during his court appearance Wednesday, he said he had considered waiving extradition to Pennsylvania, but said because the Auburn Police Department “took a large amount of cash from him and he didn’t get a receipt,” he decided he would contest extradition.

“So, he’s really concerned about his money,” Lewiston attorney Richard Charest said.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador told Judge Jennifer Archer on Wednesday that Hassan has an outstanding warrant from Pennsylvania for a parole violation.

According to an Androscoggin County Jail spokesman, neither Billie Jo Garland nor Amanda Garland was booked at the jail.

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