Massachusetts man arrested on cocaine trafficking charge in Brunswick

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BRUNSWICK — A New Bedford, Mass., man was arrested early Wednesday after police allegedly found 168 grams of cocaine strapped to his inner thigh and in a body cavity.

Hector Nieves-Martinez, 19, remained in Cumberland County Jail in Portland on Wednesday morning, held on $25,000 bail, according to a jail official. Nieves-Martinez is charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs following his arrest just before 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Officer Matthew Swan responded to a report of a vehicle operating erratically on Interstate 295, and eventually pulled the car over on Route 1 near Cook’s Corner, Deputy Chief Marc Hagan of the Brunswick Police Department said Wednesday.

Swan reportedly smelled marijuana in the car, so he questioned the occupants. Hagan said stories told by the three people in the car didn’t match, “leading (Swan) to believe they had illegal narcotics” in the car.

A search allegedly revealed 159 grams of cocaine, packaged for resale, strapped to Nieves-Martinez’s inner thigh, Hagan said. During a subsequent search, police allegedly found an additional 9 grams in a body cavity.

Altogether the cocaine had a street value of $15,000-$20,000, Hagan said.

The driver, Dana Santos, 23, of New Bedford, was issued a civil summons for possession of a usable amount of marijuana.

According to Hagan, one of the people in the car had two fresh bullet wounds on his body. He declined to identify the person.

The Lisbon Police Department provided a dog to assist in the investigation, and the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office provided additional backup.