News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, March 22, 2018
Three charged with opiate trafficking

by Anne Berleant

Three men have been charged with trafficking in heroin and fentanyl after the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency seized drugs, a handgun and other items at a single-family Little Deer Isle residence on March 12. The arrests follow a five-month investigation by MDEA agents that used two confidential informants, one who agreed to cooperate with the MDEA “to improve the community where he resides and to help stay clean,” according to a sworn affidavit by agent Jacob Day.

Kenneth Farrin, 27, was charged with Class B unlawful trafficking in schedule drugs, namely fentanyl, Class D possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and Class C possession of schedule drugs, namely heroin. Fentanyl, an opioid prescribed for pain relief, is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Shane Wood, 27, and Jared Young, 26, were charged with Class B unlawful trafficking of schedule drug, namely heroin.

The arrests come at a time Deer Isle and Stonington residents are grappling with an increase in opioid use and addiction. Each town approved $20,000 in funding for the Opiate-free Island Partnership at town meetings early this month.

The three men, all Deer Isle residents, posted bail and were released from Hancock County Jail the following day.

During the investigation, one informant was fitted with an electronic transmitting device and given money by the MDEA to purchase drugs. On November 15, 2017, the informant purchased heroin, which was found to be laced with fentanyl, from Farrin.

On November 21, a second confidential informant wearing a recording device purchased one gram of heroin with $300 provided by the MDEA. Wood first picked up Young and then went to Stonington for the drug, according to MDEA agent Shane Campbell’s sworn affidavit.

Arrest warrants were issued for each of the men, who were charged and brought to Hancock County Jail with the assistance of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

Farrin was released on $2,000 cash bail, with the condition that he not use or possess alcohol or drugs, submit to random searches, and maintain a daily curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Wood was released on $2,000 cash bail, with similar bail conditions except that his curfew is from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Both were represented in court by Ellsworth attorney Jeffrey Toothaker.

Young was released on $1,500 cash bail, with bail conditions that he neither possess nor use alcohol or drugs and submit to searches upon articulated suspicion. No attorney of record was named in court documents.

All three are scheduled for a court-ordered conference on the charges on April 12.