drugs and firearms

UPDATE: Six arrested at two Beech Hill houses following Rockport drug bust

Sat, 06/08/2024 - 5:00pm

    Update: More information has been provided by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in an affidavit filed in Knox County Court before five of the six defendants arrested on June 5 made their initial court appearances on Friday afternoon, June 7.

    The defendants who appeared in court were Eldon Bennett, Holly Beaupre, Lawrence Wooton-Thayer, Luis Cheveres-Rivera, and Randy Lohones. Sean Oesterlin was released from the Knox County Jail after he posted bail.

    According to the affidavit filed by the MDEA, Eldon Bennett, 41, of Rockport, who was arrested June 5 for aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs and outstanding arrest warrants, is the owner of the residence at 54 Beech Hill Road where the drugs and firearms were seized.

    Agents located Bennett attempting to escape from the back door of the residence and Cheveres-Rivera was found trying to crawl out a window from a bedroom in the basement, the affidavit said.

    When agents searched the residence, they found fentanyl and cocaine base in Cheveres-Rivera’s bedroom.

    The affidavit states that Bennett admitted to dealing drugs from the residence and he was aware that Cheveres-Rivera was dealing drugs from his bedroom in the basement. Bennett also admitted that he had allowed out of state suppliers to deal and sell from the residence in the past and he would be paid in fentanyl.

    Bennett said he sold roughly a gram of fentanyl to an undercover agent on May 21, according to the affidavit.

    During the search of the residence, an agent approached Beaupre who was asleep in a chair in the living room with a glass pipe with black residue in the bowl sitting on a stand next to her. The glass pipe is commonly used to smoke methamphetamine. Since Beaupre was on bail with conditions, she was subject to a search by agents and was found to be in possession of drugs, according to the affidavit.

    The search warrant was issued by Judge Eric Walker in Knox County Court.

    ROCKPORT — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency announces the arrest of six individuals during the execution of two simultaneous search warrants at residences on Beech Hill Road in Rockport following a several months long investigation into illegal drug trafficking from the residences.  Fentanyl, Cocaine Base, (crack) and numerous firearms, including a suspected fully automatic rifle were seized, according to a June 6 news release from the Maine Dept. of Public Safety.

    (Editor’s note: a previous version of this story said nine people were arrested. That was based on information provided June 5.)

    The following is the full June 6 news release from Maine Dept. of Public Safety.


    Eldon Bennett, 41, of Rockport was arrested for Aggravated Trafficking Schedule W Drugs class A, and outstanding arrest warrants.   Bail was set at $10,000.  Bennett is currently being held at Knox County Jail in Rockland.

    Holly Beaupre, 40, of Rockport, was arrested for Unlawful Possession Schedule “W” Drugs, Class C. Beaupre was held without bail. Beaupre is currently being held at Knox County Jail in Rockland.  

    Sean Oesterlin, 33, of Rockport, was arrested for Aggravated Trafficking Schedule “W” Drugs Class A.  Bail was set at $10,000 Unsecured cash.  Oesterlin was transported to the Knox County Jail where he was allowed to bail.  

    Lawrence Wotton-Thayer, 37, of Waldoboro, was arrested on one count of Unlawful Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person Class C, and outstanding arrest warrants. Bail was set at $1,000 cash. Wotton-Thayer is currently being held at Knox County Jail in Rockland.  

    Luis Cheveres-Rivera, 38, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was arrested for one count of Aggravated Trafficking Schedule “W” Drugs Class A.  Bail was set at $10,000 cash Cheveres-Rivera is being held at Knox County Jail in Rockland

    Randy Lohones, 32, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, was arrested for Unlawful Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person Class C and outstanding arrest warrants. Lohones was held without bail.   Lohones is being held at Knox County Jail in Rockland.  

    In January, agents from the Mid-Coast District Task Force began an investigation into illegal drug trafficking alleged conducted by Bennett and Oesterlin, of Rockport, with Cheveres-Rivera, of Elizabeth New Jersey.  Agents conducted undercover purchases of illegal narcotics from the three at residences on Beech Hill Road in Rockport over the past several months.  

    After obtaining a search warrant for the residences, agents, with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriffs Department, Camden/Rockport Police Department, and Rockland Police Department executed the search warrants in the early morning of Wednesday, June 5, 2024.  During the search of the residenceagents located over 60 grams of fentanyl, eight grams of cocaine base, four handguns, three shotguns and seven rifles.  

    Agents determined one of the rifles, a loaded AK 47 is suspected to have been altered to a fully automatic firearm.

     Agents also removed a St. Bernard from one of the residences due to the animals living conditions and neglect.    

    [Editor’s note: PAWS animal shelter declined to comment on the well-being of the dog June 6 citing legal constraints. Camden-Rockport Police Chief said June 7 that the dog is doing well at PAWS, getting much needed attention.]

    Bennett, Beaupre, Wotton-Thayer, Cheveres-Rivera and Lohones are scheduled to appear in Knox County court on Friday, June 7, 2024, where more charges may be brought.  

    All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    Assisting MDEA in this investigation were representatives from Camden/Rockport Police Department, Rockland Police department, Knox County Sheriffs Department and Rockport Fire Department.

    The MDEA stands committed to working with all federal, state, county, and local law enforcement partners in order to continue to identify and disrupt drug trafficking organizations that are attempting to distribute illicit drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine in the State of Maine.

    If you or someone you know suffers from substance use disorder, please call 211 or text your zip code to 898-211 for a list of resources available in your area.

    If you have information about this investigation or the illegal sale of drugs in your community, you are urged to contact the Maine Drug Enforcement office closest to you or by texting MDEA to TIP411 (847411) or by calling the MDEA tip line at 1-800-452-6457.

    ROCKPORT — A major drug bust took place early Wednesday morning, June 5, at 42 and 54 Beech Hill Road, Rockport, with nine arrested and one malnourished dog taken to PAWS animal shelter in Camden.

    While more details will be forthcoming Wednesday morning, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said Tuesday evening that law enforcement representing a joint effort of the Rockport and Camden Police Departments, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Rockland Police Department, Maine DEA Midcoast and Augusta divisions, and the Rockport Fire Department for general safety support arrived at the two houses at approximately 7 a.m.

    As law enforcement presented their search warrants, some of the suspects attempted to climb out back windows and run into the woods, ultimately without success, police said.

    “It was a fruitless effort,” said one.

    Agents discovered multiple people in the houses in possession of fentanyl and crack cocaine. Numerous firearms were discovered in one of the houses.

    In total, there were eight men and two women in the houses. Eight of the men and one woman were arrested on various charges, including drug trafficking. The other woman was not arrested and she apparently left for Massachusetts.

    One of those arrested is a new Jersey resident, another from Massachusetts. All were transported to Knox County Jail, and are to be arraigned Friday.

    The dog, a St. Bernard, had apparently been confined in a crate, and was malnourished, according to police.

    They fed and watered the dog, showered it with affection, and took it to PAWS for care.

    One of the houses is now boarded up, with a no trespassing sign out front. It has been seized by the town for nonpayment of taxes.

    Maine DEA thanked all of the participating agencies that helped with the bust.

    This story will be updated June 6.

    Reach Lynda Clancy at lyndaclancy@penbaypilot.com; 207-706-6657