BANGOR — An East Corinth man remains in jail after a bust by federal drug agents three days ago that netted $50,000 worth of methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant that is making inroads into New England and Maine.
Maurice Buswell, 32, made an initial appearance Monday in U.S District Court. He is charged with four counts of distribution of methamphetamine and two counts of distribution of cocaine.
Court papers claim Buswell distributed approximately 17 ounces of methamphetamine during the course of a conspiracy that began around Nov. 17, 1997, and continued until his arrest Jan. 5.
After Buswell’s arrest agents seized 7 ounces of methamphetamine and 8 grams of cocaine. Agents previously had purchased 10 more ounces of methamphetamine from Buswell in an undercover operation. The street value of the seized methamphetamine is $50,000.
Roy McKinney of Bangor, head of the Maine Drug Enforcement Administration, said the seizure is one of the largest in Maine history.
If convicted, Buswell faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and possible fines of $4 million. Magistrate Judge Eugene Beaulieu set bail for Buswell at $50,000 with two sureties during a hearing Tuesday at federal court.
Buswell failed to make bail and was returned to jail.
According to McKinney, methamphetamine is causing concern among authorities in Maine. Manufactured mostly in the nation’s West and Southwest, the drug has surged into Aroostook County and now appears to be making inroads in the Bangor area, McKinney said.
Commonly called “ice,” “crank” or “speed,” methamphetamine is consumed by smoking, inhalation or intravenous injection. It is highly addictive and can enhance violent tendencies in its users.
McKinney said the investigation of methamphetamine use in Maine continues with the assistance of various law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.