Oxford County deputy
to become drug agent

by Tony Reaves, Staff Writer Sun Journal March 21, 2013

PARIS — The Oxford County Sheriff's Office is getting a Maine Drug Enforcement agent for southern and central Oxford County, according to Sheriff Wayne Gallant.In an agreement with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Cpl. Chancy Libby will become a resident agent of the MDEA, while remaining a member of the Sheriff's Office under Gallant's supervision.

The new agent position will be one of two in Oxford County, complementing Agent Tony Milligan, who works with the Rumford Police Department and investigates drug crimes in mainly the northern half of the county. Libby will be covering more of the central and southern areas of Oxford County, Gallant said Wednesday.

Gallant said he's been working on increasing drug enforcement in Oxford County for years, but a meeting with local police chiefs in October made it clear that the issue was urgent. Police chiefs from Norway, Paris and Oxford were among those who said that the loss of a resident agent in 2011 has made drug enforcement work harder and more expensive for local agencies.

They blamed drugs as being involved in many property crimes like burglaries and thefts.

Until November 2011, a grant allowed MDEA agent Zane Loper to investigate drug crimes in the Oxford Hills area while working with the Paris Police Department. That grant ran out, and in June 2012, Loper moved to the Oxford Police Department.

Libby's position, however, won't be paid for with a grant. “We've been able to work with my budget and do as much as I can to find the funding,” Gallant said.

According to Gallant, the MDEA had a slot for an additional agent and will pay for Libby's drug training, vehicle and equipment. He'll also have access to MDEA labs to identify drugs, and the Oxford County Sheriff's Office will continue to pay his salary. Libby will be promoted to lieutenant, and Gallant said the department will hire another deputy to fill in for Libby's regular coverage.

Gallant said that by moving around schedules and cutting some overtime hours, he'll be able to pay Libby and the new deputy the department hires. “One of our deputies will be promoted to corporal, and we'll hire another deputy to fill that slot.”