Three people in Washington County have been charged with heroin-related offenses following the seizure Tuesday night of heroin in the town of Perry. Three children have been removed from the home.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and investigators with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant at 10 pm on the residence of Tara Townsend and James Ritchie on US Route 1 in Perry.

Washington County Sheriff's Office

Police say a six-month investigation led to the search and arrests followed the undercover purchase of heroin from people inside the Perry home.

Seized during the search was approximately 135 grams (1350 dosage units) of heroin, with a street value of approximately $54,000, along with other evidence of drug trafficking.

37-year-old Felix Gracia of Waterbury, Connecticut, 35-year-old Tara J. Townsend of Perry and 59-year-old James Ritchie of Perry have been charged with Class “A” Aggravated Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs. Bail has been set at $100,000 cash each. Gracia was also wanted in Connecticut on outstanding warrants.

Police say the charges were aggravated due to the amount of heroin seized.
The three were transported to the Washington County Jail and made their initial court appearances today in Machias.

Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis says there were three children, ages 11, 6 and 2, present when the warrant was executed. All were turned over to the custody of DHHS.

The Pleasant Point Police Department and Maine State Police assisted in the investigation. Curtis says more arrests are likely.