Seven people are facing drug trafficking charges following a series of drug busts this month in Washington County.

The arrests were made as part of a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigation into a Bedford, Massachusetts-based drug trafficking network that was dealing in significant quantities of cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin/fentanyl for distribution in Hancock and Washington counties.

Agents discovered out-of-state dealers were traveling to Maine to recruit local dealers, as a way to increase their customer base. The out-of-state dealers would distribute their drugs from local residences in exchange for money and/or drugs. Officials say undercover agents were able to make purchases from members of the group.

Charged with drug trafficking as a result of this investigation were:

  • Kayla Thistlewood, 27, of Baileyville, ME
  • Franz Morris, 57, of New Bedford, MA
  • Bailey Bryant, 24, of Jonesboro, ME
  • David Seale, 36, of New Bedford, MA
  • Cole Kennedy, 35, of Milbridge, ME
  • Matthew Small, 42, of Cherryfield, ME
  • Jonathan Johnson, 37, of Columbia, ME

On Tuesday morning, January 12, agents stopped a vehicle on Route 182 in Cherryfield, driven by Kayla Thistlewood, and contained Franz Morris as a passenger. Officials say Thistlewood is currently on federal probation as a result of a drug-related incident last summer. When agents determined she was in violation of her bail conditions, they arrested her and searched her vehicle.

Seized in that search were 74 grams of cocaine HCI, 36.9 grams of cocaine base, and 6.1 grams of fentanyl from Morris. He was arrested and charged with class A aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs. Also arrested during this investigation was Bailey Bryant, 24 of Jonesboro for violation of conditions of release.

Three days later, with assistance from the Maine State Police Tactical Team and Washington County Sheriff's Office, drug agents executed three search warrants in the towns of Columbia, Cherryfield, and Milbridge. It was during these investigations that Matthew Small and David Seale were charged with aggravated trafficking of cocaine, and Cole Kennedy for aggravated trafficking in heroin/fentanyl.

On January 18th, with assistance from the State Police and Washington County Sheriff's Office, Jonathan Johnson was arrested for class A trafficking in drugs.

MDEA officials say this investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected. Anyone with information about this investigation or the illegal sale of drugs in Maine is urged to contact the MDEA office closest to them, or by texting MDEA to TIP411 (847411) or by calling the MDEA tip-line at 800-452-6457.

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