St. Agatha man arrested on drug trafficking charges

ST. AGATHA, Maine - On Friday evening, MDEA agents, assisted by Aroostook Sheriff’s Deputies, State Troopers, Border Patrol Agents and Agents of Homeland Security Investigations searched the home of 37 year old Eric Blanchette on Bouchard Road in St. Agatha.

Police say Blanchette was home at the time, but refused to open the door so agents had to force their way in.

According to police, Blanchette was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated trafficking in cocaine, all Class A felonies. The charges are aggravated because Blanchette was previously convicted of trafficking in cocaine in 2008.

In addition to Blanchette, agents say they also seized a cell phone used to facilitate drug transactions and cash from the sale of drugs.

While in handcuffs in his driveway, Blanchette broke from custody and tried to escape.

Police say after a brief foot pursuit, he was again in custody and had an escape charge added to his list of offenses.

Blanchette was taken to the Aroostook County Jail without further incident, and on Saturday was released on $15,000 cash bail.

If convicted on one of the aggravated drug trafficking offenses, Blanchette faces a minimum four year prison sentence, with a maximum allowable sentence of 30 years.

The arrest was the culmination of a MDEA criminal investigation that began in January from information provided by the Fort Kent Police Department.

The case will now be in the hands of the Aroostook County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes all state drug offenses in Aroostook County.