SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Drug agents arrested two men and seized $12,000 in heroin during a traffic stop Friday night on Main Street, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA).
Leon Jacobs, 43, of Southwest Harbor and Jesse Couto, 29, of Trenton were arrested and charged with Class B trafficking in drugs.
MDEA Cmdr. Peter Arno said agents believe Jacobs and Couto had purchased the heroin out of state and were planning to sell the drug locally. The arrests are the result of a recent investigation into heroin trafficking in Southwest Harbor.
Couto was driving the vehicle and Jacobs was the only passenger when they were stopped just before midnight by Officer Shawn Murphy. During a search conducted with a state police dog, MDEA agents reportedly seized 40 grams of heroin.
Jacobs and Couto were arrested on trafficking charges and taken to the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth. Couto has been released after posting $500 cash bail. Jacobs remains in custody; his bail is set at $25,000 cash.
The 40 grams of heroin seized represent approximately 400 individual doses or “bags” of the drug, Arno said, adding that it is difficult to determine whether the arrests would result in a major disruption of the supply of illegal opiates on Mount Desert Island.
“It will likely have some short-term impact,” he said. “What the seizure does represent is 400 less chances that a life will be lost or that a family will be destroyed. We all have a lot more work to do before we have a chance of creating a firebreak in this opiate epidemic.”
Class B crimes are felony level crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
Updated Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 11:23 a.m.