Canadian attempts to bring drugs across border

12 years ago

Canadian attempts to bring drugs across border

By Kathy McCarty

Staff Writer

    FORT FAIRFIELD — An official with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency at the Fort Fairfield crossing arrested a Canadian man, identified as Troy Spittle, 38, of Perth, New Brunswick, after oxycodone pills were found sewn into the waistband of his pants during the Feb. 24 stop.

    According to court documents, Spittle was charged with importation of oxycodone, a painkiller considered to be highly addictive. Spittle made his first appearance Feb. 27 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk in federal court in Bangor. The judge ordered the man be detained temporarily, due to Spittle being from Canada. Under such circumstances, it is rare that a judge grant bail. A bail hearing was set for Friday.

    Operating a 1997 Dodge Dakota pickup, Spittle attempted to cross the border from Canada into the U.S. at the Fort crossing station around 2:30 p.m. He reportedly told a U.S. CBP officer he was headed to an auto parts store.    

    Court documents indicated Spittle was instructed to go to a secondary inspection, after his breathing became shallow and rapid when a narcotics detection dog and its handler circled the vehicle.

    During the secondary inspection, an officer performed a pat-down of Spittle, at which time a number of small objects were detected inside a seam at Spittle’s waistline. When asked what they were, Spittle first indicated to the officer he didn’t know, then admitted they were oxycodone pills.

    Court records indicate investigators recovered 23 80-milligram oxycodone tablets from Spittle’s clothing.

    Spittle told investigators he’d been smuggling pills into Maine about once a month over the past two years — selling the pills to support his own addiction. If convicted, Spittle could serve up to 20 years in federal prison and face a fine of up to $250,000.