Police in Southern Maine are dealing with a violent drug trafficking organization that's comprised of teenagers.

Police Were First Alerted to the Crime Network By a Shootout Between Vehicles

The youthful organization first came to the attention of police after a shootout between two vehicles as they drove through residential streets in Portland on February 26th. Portland Police tracked down the two vehicles, learning that one of them had been in the possession of a 17-year-old male. His name was not released because he is a juvenile, but he was arrested and taken to the Longcreek Youth Development Center. As part of their investigation, officials learned of a significant drug trafficking network that involved houses in Portland, Gray, and New Gloucester.

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Several Searches in Maine Communities Turned Up Drugs, Guns, and Cash

High-rish searches were conducted at those locations, where police found guns, cocaine, and evidence of drug trafficking. As they searched a residence in Gray, police noticed a vehicle speeding away. That vehicle was stopped and a search was conducted that turned up much of the same, as well as two 17-year-old males who were taken into custody.  As a result of all of these searches, police seized a total of six handguns, a shotgun, more than 400 grams of cocaine, as well as more than $44,000 in suspected drug proceeds.

Portland Police Say the Organization is Sophisticated and Dangerous

All the people arrested in connection with this case range in age from 16 to 19. Portland Police say this troubles them because adults would typically run a drug trafficking organization this sophisticated, not teenagers. A significant increase in gun violence in the city, police say, can be directly attributed to drug trafficking.

Anyone with information about this or any other criminal activity is asked to contact their local police department. Officials say they can't stop this type of criminal activity without help from parents and community members.

If you see something, say something.

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