Five people, including two from Florida, were arrested in connection with an investigation into the trafficking of cocaine and heroin in Hancock County.

Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says 57-year-old George Pickard and 42-year-old Christopher Abbott of Franklin were arrested this week in Franklin. Pickard is charged with trafficking in heroin, while Abbott is charged with trafficking in cocaine. Abbott's wife, 37-year-old April Abbott of Franklin was also in the vehicle at the time of her husband's arrest and was charged with possession of heroin.

The investigation into these arrests led police to determine that suspects from out of state would be delivering additional cocaine to the area. With assistance from the State Police, a Mercedes sedan was stopped on Route 1A in Dedham containing two people from Sanford, Florida. Police recovered over 125 grams of cocaine from passenger 33-year-old Sydnee Atwater, who was concealing drugs inside her body. She and the driver, 37-year-old Marc Atwater, are charged with aggravated trafficking in cocaine. Three young children, who were in the vehicle with the couple, have been placed by DHHS Child Protective Services.

Also arrested in April of this year, as part of this investigation, was 29-year-old Joseph Steele of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Agents seized 57 grams of crack cocaine and 30 grams of heroin from his rental vehicle during a traffic stop in Newport. MDEA officials say it's believed the drugs were headed to Hancock County for resale. Within days of when he arrived at the Penobscot County Jail, guards found him with a homemade weapon and he now faces a felony trafficking in prison contraband charge, as well.

This investigation has focused on a group of people involved with importing and distributing cocaine and heroin, specifically, in the Franklin area of Hancock County. Officials say more arrests are possible.

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