November 18, 2013

State cops nab crack, heroin in Benton bust

During a routine traffic stop, a police dog led officers to discover $11,000 in drugs on Massachusetts couple.

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BENTON — What began as a routine traffic stop on Interstate 95 ended with police seizing what they said is thousands of dollars worth of heroin and crack cocaine from a Massachusetts couple on Friday afternoon.

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Confiscated: State police confiscated 53 grams of heroin, 10 grams of crack cocaine, about $1,400 in cash and a small amount of marijuana from a couple arrested on Interstate 95 in Benton on Friday.

Contributed photo

Jennifer Rubins

Contributed photo

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Jennifer Rubins, 28, of Mashpee, Mass., and Donnell Pina, 40, of Marston Mills, Mass., were both charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and illegal importation of scheduled drugs after police found 53 grams of heroin, 10 grams of crack cocaine, about $1,400 in cash and a small amount of marijuana on them, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, in a prepared statement Monday.

“Troopers are now trying to determine where the couple was headed,” McCausland said.

Trooper Jesse Duda stopped a rental car driven by Rubins for a traffic violation near mile marker 134. He smelled marijuana and called in a search dog from Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. The dog indicated that the drugs were present, according to McCausland.

He estimated the street value of the drugs as more than $11,000. Rubins and Pina were taken to Kennebec County jail, where jail workers said Pina posted $10,000 cash bail over the weekend. Rubins remained in jail Monday afternoon on a bail amount of $5,000 set by a judge Monday morning.

Importation of drugs, defined as bringing a scheduled drug into Maine from another state or country, is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

When it involves more than 6 grams of heroin, aggravated trafficking of drugs is a felony with a maximum jail term of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000.

In 2012, Maine saw 1,166 arrests for sale or manufacturing of drugs, including 230 involving cocaine and 202 involving narcotics such as heroin, according to annual arrest data compiled by the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287 mhhetling@centralmaine.com Twitter: @hh_matt
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Donnell Pina

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Confiscated: State police confiscated 53 grams of heroin, 10 grams of crack cocaine, about $1,400 in cash and a small amount of marijuana from a couple arrested on Interstate 95 in Benton on Friday.

Contributed photo

 


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