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The search of an Oxford home Wednesday is related to a state police investigation into a chase involving Ethan Rioux-Poulios of Woodstock that critically injured a Portland driver.
OXFORD — Two men and three women were arrested on drug charges Wednesday in a case police say stemmed from a car chase through Oxford Hills this month that left a woman in critical condition.
State police said they conducted a warrant search at 11 Longview Drive in Oxford on Wednesday as part of their investigation into Ethan Rioux-Poulios, the 26-year-old Woodstock man who was charged in the March 4 chase and ensuing head-on crash.
Ethan Rioux-Poulios shown in his mug shot after a police chase and crash earlier in March. The case led police to five others who were charged with drug crimes in Oxford on Wednesday.
Police did not elaborate on the connection between Rioux-Poulios and those arrested Wednesday.
The five suspects were charged with aggravated trafficking in fentanyl and trafficking cocaine. They are: Matthew Robare, 45, Julie Coolidge, 48, and Kendra Talbot, 42, all of Oxford, and Darlene Thomas, 50, of Otisfield and Joshua Appleby, 37, of Woodstock.
Police said Robare and Coolidge lived in the house that was searched.
Longview Drive is a dead-end road off Allen Hill Road.
State police, working with Oxford Police and FBI Safestreets Task Force arrived at the home in the afternoon Wednesday. When they attempted to contact those inside, two people tried to exit through a rear window, police said. They were captured by waiting officers.
Police said three others were in the residence with a suspected drug trafficking and drug manufacturing operation. State police investigators obtained an additional search warrant for drugs and drug trafficking equipment.
While the search warrant was being reviewed the two homeowners arrived and were met by police.
After the search warrant was approved, state and Oxford police, FBI Safestreets Task Force and Norway police searched the residence, occupants and vehicles, according to a state police news release.
Investigators said they recovered 195 grams of fentanyl, 40 grams of cocaine, $4,990 in suspected drug proceeds, and other drug trafficking and manufacturing equipment. Police said the suspects appeared to be manufacturing cocaine base in the house. Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues, the release said.
Rioux-Poulios has remained jailed since being arrested after the car chase from Oxford through Norway, Paris, Otisfield and back to Oxford. Early in the chase a head-on collision on Oxford Street in Paris left a 28-year-old Portland woman critically injured.
Rioux-Poulios is charged in a criminal complaint alleging two counts of aggravated assault, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, eluding an officer, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death.
At the time of the chase, Rioux-Poulios had a valid license, although it was later revealed it should have been suspended due to a previous manslaughter conviction.
Rioux-Poulios pleaded guilty last July to one count of manslaughter stemming from another police chase, in 2019, when he crashed his car into another vehicle, killing a 70-year-old John Pikiell of Norway on Route 26 in West Paris.
At his sentencing July 15, Oxford County Superior Court Justice Thomas McKeon ordered that Rioux-Poulios’ license be suspended indefinitely.
He should have lost his license in July, state officials said, but the state courts and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles failed to process the suspension.
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