PORTLAND, Maine — A three-week investigation into drug trafficking in Portland's West Bayside led to the arrests of three men and the seizure of more than 236 grams of drugs, nearly $10,000 in cash and several guns, police announced Thursday.
The Portland Police Department said its investigation is in conjunction with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, targeting suspected drug trafficking in the Portland neighborhood and, in particular, an Oxford Street apartment building.
Three weeks ago, officers and agents served a search warrant at apartment C2 of the building, located at 259 Oxford St., seizing several handguns, rifle magazines and items indicative of drug trafficking, police said.
The apartment unit was unoccupied at the time, according to police, but inherent risks warranted the department to utilize its Special Reaction Team.
Four days later, on June 24, a car was pulled over in the area of 92 Portland St., just three blocks west of the Oxford Street apartment building. Police said a K-9 officer from South Portland searching the outside of the vehicle indicated the presence of drugs. A search turned up 112 grams of methamphetamine and $3,600 in cash, all of which was seized.
Alex Moustrouphis, 29, of Westbrook, was arrested and charged with aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs. He was taken to Cumberland County Jail, where he posted the $5,000 cash bail.
Last Wednesday, another search involving the city's community policing and patrol units was executed at 259 Oxford St., this time at apartment A1. Officers seized 4 ounces of crack and $4,100 in cash, the department said.
On Tuesday, officers and drug agents arrested two men in the vicinity of 259 Oxford St., seizing 11 grams of fentanyl and about $2,200 in cash.
Kevin Stichel, 30, of New York, was charged with trafficking in fentanyl and possession of methamphetamine pills.
Orbria Turner, 46, of New Jersey, was charged with trafficking in fentanyl and violation of conditions of release.
Both, as of Thursday, were being held at Cumberland County Jail.
"These efforts by police are part of our continuing commitment to address drug trafficking in our neighborhoods," Portland Police Lt. Robert Martin said. "We are working closely with area residents and property owners to improve safety."
The incidents remained under investigation and more charges were expected.