Suspect also facing federal charge related to Mexican Mafia

Police say Rockland man dealing meth

By Stephen Betts | Aug 04, 2017
Photo by: Knox County Jail Derek Vandoren

Rockland — A Rockland man is being held on $5,000 cash bail, accused of supplying methamphetamine in the region.

Derek Vandoren, 34, of Rockland was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 2 on a charge of Class A aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine.

The charge was raised to a Class A because Vandoren has a prior conviction for dealing drugs.

Vandoren is also facing federal charges of dealing meth in southern California for the Mexican Mafia.

This week's arrest came after an investigation that began with the July 13 arrest of 38-year-old Richard P. Butler of Lisle Street in Rockland for dealing meth. Butler had a drug trafficking conviction from 2011 which also raised his charge to a Class A offense which carries a maximum potential prison term of 30 years.

After his arrest, police found telephone records and texts between Butler and Vandoren indicating that they were involved in drug dealing, according to an affidavit filed by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with the Knox County Court.

In one of the texts, Butler said he was assaulted and possibly had his hand broken while trying to collect on a drug debt, three days before he was arrested.

Police obtained a search warrant from the court and searched the Birch Street residence of Vandoren on Aug. 2.

Vandoren had been arrested in November 2014 for trafficking in meth from the Brunswick Rooms in Rockland. He pleaded guilty in May 2015 and was sentenced to two years in jail with all but six months suspended and placed on probation for two years for trafficking in drugs.

He was one of 51 people charged in 2016 by federal prosecutors for suspected involvement with a massive drug dealing ring in southern California. The charges, including the most serious one of racketeering, remain pending. He had been free on bail.

Despite its name, the Mexican Mafia, according to the indictment, is an American criminal organization that “operates from within the California state prison system, the federal prison system, and the streets and suburbs of large cities throughout southern California,” according to the indictment.

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