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South Portland man facing drug trafficking charges after allegedly delivering crack cocaine to undercover agent

Moses Oreste is currently being held at the Cumberland County Jail, where his bail was set at $60,000
Credit: Maine Drug Enforcement Agency

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A South Portland man was arrested Monday after he allegedly delivered crack cocaine to an undercover Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) agent, MDEA Commander Scott Pelletier said in a release Tuesday.

Moses L. Oreste, 21, was charged with the following:

  • Unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (crack cocaine)
  • Aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs (fentanyl and crack cocaine)
  • Theft by receiving (firearm)

Pelletier said the aggravating factor in the drug charges was for the possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. 

Beginning in November 2020, Pelletier said agents from the MDEA Cumberland District Task Force began an investigation into a group of people who were allegedly distributing fentanyl and crack cocaine throughout southern Maine. Pelletier believes members of the group traveled out of state to purchase large quantities of the drug, which he said they would often then sell for two or three times the amount they originally bought it for.

On Monday, Pelletier said agents seized 23 grams of crack cocaine and seven grams of fentanyl from Oreste before serving a search warrant at his apartment in South Portland's Olde English Village apartment complex.

As a result of the search, Pelletier said agents seized an additional 12 grams of fentanyl, packaging and processing materials containing crack cocaine, $49,000 in suspected drug proceeds and a 9 mm handgun. The handgun was reported stolen from Portland in 2017, according to Pelletier.

Pelletier said the total street value of the drugs seized is $23,000.

Oreste is currently being held at the Cumberland County Jail, where his bail was set at $60,000. He is expected to make his initial court appearance on Wednesday in Portland Unified Court.

According to Pelletier, the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

Anyone with information about this investigation or the illegal sale of drugs in Maine is asked to contact their closest MDEA office, text MDEA to TIP411 (847411), or call the MDEA tip-line at 800-452-6457.