Portland Police stopped 38-year-old Portland resident Martin Benjamin Monday afternoon on suspicion that he was participating in illegal drug activity near 55 Portland Street.
A search revealed that Martin was in possession of 67 grams of fentanyl, an amount capable of killing an estimated 33,500 people.
Martin was also in possession of small amounts of methamphetamines and Cocaine HCL.
He was arrested and charged with Aggravated Trafficking of Scheduled Drugs, Unlawful Possession of Scheduled W drug and Violating Conditions of Release.
According to Maine Drug Data Hub’s April 2023 Overdose Report, there have been 3,307 overdoses in the state so far in 2023, with 57 confirmed or suspected fatal overdoses occurring in April alone.
April’s report says that 82 percent of the 139 confirmed drug death cases so far in 2023 were caused by nonpharmaceutical fentanyl.
Wednesday’s statement from the Portland Police says that drug overdose statistics for the period of January through May in Portland show a 24.7 percent increase from 2022 (178) to 2023 (222).
This increase is lower than the 89.4 percent increase from 2021 (94) to 2022 (178).