Substitute teacher/coach among men charged in Rumford drug bust
RUMFORD (WGME) -- Rumford Police arrested three men for smuggling heroin and cocaine from the Boston area, including a local substitute teacher who also volunteers as a coach.
Officials said Matthew Duka, 25, subbed at Mountain Valley Middle School and at others throughout RSU 10 this year.
"We're very aggressively going after these drug traffickers," said Rumford Police Chief Stacy Carter.
Carter said the investigation started in February, with reports of Duka smuggling drugs from Boston to sell in the Rumford and Mexico region. He said undercover agents were used to make purchases from him as they collected evidence.
"We did learn information where he attempted to sell to a student but the student did not make the purchase," said Carter.
Duka was arrested this week by Maine State Police, stopped on his way back from buying cocaine in Portsmouth. Police also arrested his passenger, Kenneth Armstrong of Mexico.
Carter said the men were working for a group of drug dealers out of Dixfield, led by Angel Cabrera, also of Mexico.
"We wanted to make sure we acted as quickly as we could to protect students in the area from any illicit drug trades," said Carter.
Deborah Alden, superintendent for RSU 10, released this statement to CBS 13: "Mr. Duka was added to the approved substitute list for RSU 10 the end of October, 2016. He is not a certified teacher. He had a current criminal history record check (CHRC) from Maine Department of Education and a background check through InformME. He subbed on and off at Mountain Valley Middle School until the end of March, since then he substituted 6 days in other schools in the Mountain Valley Region. He was not a paid coach or assistant coach for wrestling at Mountain Valley High School this winter, although he did volunteer with the team. Earlier this week Superintendent Alden was informed that he was being investigated and he was immediately taken off the substitute list."
"It's not a secret that Rumford and surrounding communities across the state have a drug problem with the heroin epidemic and a lot of crack cocaine coming into the area," said Carter.
Carter said the investigation is still ongoing. It started with a tip from the public. He's urging the community to continue keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity.
Carter said a Connecticut man was also arrested on drug charges this week as part of an unrelated investigation. He said Sean Michael "Cali" Blalock was acting as a supplier for other dealers, sending heroin to Maine for distribution.