A 37-year-old St. Agatha man was arrested after police charged him for allegedly trafficking in cocaine.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agents, assisted by Aroostook Sheriff’s Deputies, State Troopers, Border Patrol and Homeland Security agents searched the home of Eric Blanchette on the Bouchard Road in St. Agatha Friday evening.

Blanchette was home at the time but refused to open the door so agents had to force their way into the home, according to Maine Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland.

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.  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. 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 case was turned over to the Aroostook County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes all state drug offenses in Aroostook County.



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