From left, top row, Nadine Small, Matthew Messenger and Hakeem Warling; bottom, Joanna Sherrer, Christopher Noel and Crystal Guilbault

AUBURN — Police raided a “drug house” Tuesday morning on Western Promenade, arresting a half-dozen people, seizing a variety of narcotics and plucking three suspects from inside a wall.

The raid was the result of a search warrant executed by Auburn police at 15 Western Promenade, according to a news release. With Lewiston police assisting, investigators said they were initially confronted by a man with a gun and others tossing drugs from a window.

“While executing the warrant, officers knocked on the door announcing their intentions,” according to the release. “A male was observed tossing a handgun from a third-floor window. A bag of narcotics was also tossed from another window. At the same time, two individuals attempted to exit the building through different windows. Officers quickly secured the firearm and narcotics and detained the two attempting to flee.”

Nearly two dozen people were located inside the house, police said, and not all of them were easy to find.

“While conducting the interior search of the residence, officers discovered a void in a wall at the end of a crawl space,” according to the release. “Officers removed the wall and located three subjects hiding inside. Among the three was the male subject who officers had observed tossing the gun from the window. In total, 23 people were located inside the residence, several of whom were on bail contracts for pending criminal cases. Others had outstanding warrants for their arrest.”

As a result of the search, fentanyl, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and psilocybin mushrooms were confiscated, police said. The property was secured by Auburn Public Works and deemed uninhabitable.


Also located at the home, police said, were three more firearms, ammunition, items consistent with drug manufacturing and trafficking, as well as over $1,100 in suspected drug proceeds.

The following people were arrested:

• Matthew Messenger, 42, of Auburn was arrested on four outstanding warrants for theft and numerous drug-related offenses. He has also been charged with the new crimes of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and violation of conditions of release because he was out of jail with an active bail contract for pending crimes. Additional drug charges are expected, police said. Messenger’s bail was set at $30,000.

• Hakeem Warling, 29, of New York was arrested after being located in the crawl space hiding from police. He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and criminal simulation as the firearm he is accused of throwing from the window had the serial number scratched off. Bail was set in the amount of $2,500.

• Nadine Small, 52, of Auburn was arrested for being a fugitive from justice out of New Hampshire. New Hampshire will extradite her back there for charges related to identity theft, police said.

• Joanna Sherrer, 43, of Phillips was arrested on three outstanding warrants for multiple theft charges.


• Christopher Noel, 38, of Lisbon was arrested on two outstanding warrants for aggravated assault, assault, as well as
driving offenses.

• Crystal Guilbault, 36, of 15 Western Promenade was arrested on an outstanding warrant for theft and violations of conditions of release.

Police said they had been investigating the home after receiving tips from neighbors who reported illegal drug activity along with other criminal behavior.

Messenger has a long criminal history in the Lewiston-Auburn area, having been convicted of drug and other crimes dating back to the 1990s. Noel has a history of driving and other offenses in the area.

According to jail booking information, each of the six suspects had been living in the home that was raided.

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