Marine Patrol officers and Maine State Police seized an estimated $8,000 in heroin during a traffic stop in Trenton on Tuesday. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE STATE POLICE

Drug bust nets three



TRENTON — Three people were arrested Friday on heroin-related charges after Maine Marine Patrol officers stopped their vehicle on Route 230 for alleged erratic operation.

Ronald Golden. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

Ronald Golden. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

The driver, Ronald Golden, 31, of Meriden, Conn., and a passenger, Austin Kleffman, 28, of Trenton, each were charged with Class A aggravated trafficking in heroin. Another passenger, Ajha Stanley, 20, of Tremont, was charged with Class D unlawful possession of heroin and violating the conditions of her release. A fourth person in the vehicle was not charged.

According to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA), Specialist Sean Dow and Officer Richard Derboghosian of the Maine Marine Patrol stopped the vehicle and found Golden’s driver’s license had been suspended and that the three passengers all had bail conditions. The officers quickly “recognized there was potential drug involvement” and called the MDEA and Hancock County Sheriff’s Department for assistance, said MDEA Supervisory Agent Corey Bagley.

Austin Kleffman. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

Austin Kleffman. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

Agents seized 200 prepackaged bags of heroin with an estimated street value of $8,000 from Kleffman, Bagley said. About $1,100 cash also was seized.

Kleffman and Golden were charged with Class A aggravated trafficking because of the amount of heroin seized. Class A crimes are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Drug agents conducted interviews and learned that Golden allegedly had come to Maine with about 750 bags of the drug, most of which already had been distributed in Hancock and Penobscot counties.

“He brought it all up at once,” Bagley said. “The rest had already been sold.”

Ajha Stanley. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

Ajha Stanley. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANCOCK COUNTY JAIL

Bagley alleges that Golden has been bringing a “substantial amount” of heroin into the state but said he would not describe him as a drug “kingpin.”

A “bag” of heroin weighs about one-tenth of a gram. A bag in the Ellsworth area sells for $35 to $40, Bagley said. Many addicts go through several bags daily.

“We have people who use 10 to 12 bags a day,” Bagley said.

Bagley said initial testing of the heroin seized showed it had not been cut with fentanyl as has become a common practice. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate much stronger than heroin and is linked to a spike in overdose deaths because users are unaware of the potency. The heroin in this case is going through further testing at a laboratory.

As of Wednesday, Golden and Kleffman remained in the Hancock County Jail unable to meet their respective bail amounts of $2,500 and $1,000 cash. Stanley was released on $400 cash bail.

Updated Sept. 28 at 12:30 p.m.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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