Three charged in Saco drive-by shooting, drug trafficking

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SACO — U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine Darcie N. McElwee announced today that three New Bedford, Massachusetts men have been indicted on federal charges related to a February 9 drive-by shooting in Saco and cocaine trafficking.

The men, identified as Joshua Estrada, 19, Yancarlos Abrante, 20, and Jason Johnson-Rivera, 18, were charged in a two-count indictment returned by a grand jury on May 15.

The indictment includes charges for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and perpetrating a drive-by shooting.

At the press briefing held outside the Edward T. Gignoux U.S. Courthouse, McElwee was joined by Saco Police Chief Jack Clements, Assistant United States Attorneys Johnathan Nathans and Noah Falk, and members of the FBI’s Southern Maine Gang Task Force, among others.

The indictment alleges that on February 9, the defendants fired at least five rounds from a 9mm handgun into another vehicle due to a drug trade dispute and had been trafficking cocaine in the Saco and Biddeford areas since at least January.

Estrada was arrested in New Bedford on May 6 and appeared in federal court in Maine today for his arraignment on the indictment.

Abrante and Johnson-Rivera are currently detained in Massachusetts on unrelated charges and are expected in Maine next week for their initial appearances and arraignments.

If convicted, each man faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on the drug charge, plus at least three years of supervised release.

On the drive-by shooting charge, they could each face up to 25 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, followed by up to five years of supervised release.

McElwee praised the coordinated response from federal and local law enforcement to the incident, emphasizing the swift action against firearm violence in Maine.

The FBI’s Boston Division SAC Jodi Cohen highlighted the collaborative effort in collecting evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice and the FBI’s commitment to community safety.

Chief Clements thanked law enforcement agencies across York and Cumberland counties for their response to the crime and their ongoing efforts in the investigation.

The case was investigated by the Saco Police Department and FBI’s Southern Maine Gang Task Force with assistance from the New Bedford Police Department.

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