2016-10-13 / Front Page

Biddeford woman pleads not guilty to drug trafficking

Police: Suspect had $19K in cash and $18K worth of heroin
By ALAN BENNETT
Staff Writer


Whitney Whitney KENNEBUNK — A Biddeford woman arrested on drug charges during a routine traffic stop last week pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs in Springvale District Court.

Nicole M. Whitney, 33, was arrested by Kennebunk Police Officer Matt Harrington on Friday after she was pulled over for driving erratically on Mill Street in West Kennebunk.

During the stop, police seized nine “fingers” of heroin weighing a total of 108 grams, the street value of which is estimated at about $18,000, Kennebunk Police Lt. Eric O’Brien said Wednesday.

Police also seized a spoon, several syringes and about $19,000 in cash from Whitney’s car.

O’Brien said Wednesday that the seizure was one of the larger ones he could think of occurring in Kennebunk.

“These aren’t common, stops that come along with these amounts of heroin and that amount of cash,” O’Brien said. “Nothing is ever routine, but generally when we find larger sums of money and larger quantities of drugs, it’s based on larger investigations.

“Generally on a routine stop like this it’s rare, but the officer did a great job.”

Agents from the York County District of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency were called in Friday to assist, and were still involved in the investigation as of Wednesday.

Whitney was charged with felony unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs, a Class B crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines upward of $20,000. She remained in jail as of Wednesday.

Her bail was initially set at $50,000, but was lowered to $25,000 during her arraignment Tuesday. She was also offered a $5,000 Maine Pretrial Bond, which as of Wednesday had not been granted.

Whitney’s mother, Theresa Berry, and stepfather, Dave Berry, declined to comment to the press on Tuesday, although they did post on the Journal Tribune’s Facebook page that Whitney had sought addiction treatment in the past and was clean for a year before she moved back to Biddeford.

O’Brien said he’s glad to get the drugs off the street, and said the arrest is a wake-up call for members of the Kennebunk community.

“I think it’s an eye opener also that this is a problem,” O’Brien said. “Kennebunk is not immune to the drug problem throughout the state and county, and we’re working on it in our own little corner over here.”

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com.

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