Man arrested at Walmart connected to drug-trafficking ring



ELLSWORTH — A man arrested by FBI agents at the Ellsworth Walmart on Oct. 2 was wanted by the bureau in New Jersey in connection with a highly sophisticated drug-trafficking ring.

According to authorities, the ring’s activities involve a private plane, a car with a trap door and international trips to buy drugs to sell on the streets of New Jersey and Baltimore.

Agents have been investigating Michael Dolias since 2014, when law enforcement officials raided a residence where the 45-year-old was present and found over $75,000 in cash along with a slew of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, Suboxone, Percocet and other pills.

According to an article in the Bloomfield Patch, the 2014 raid resulted in the seizure of the most prescription drugs in the history of the Union County (N.J.) Prosecutor’s Office.

The residence was a “fully functional heroin mill,” according to the article, with a surveillance system and over half-a-million-worth of drugs inside.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Newark, Dolias (known as “the cook” or “the chef” of the group) and several others were selling between “30-50 kilos of heroin/cocaine in New Jersey and elsewhere on a monthly basis,” along with fentanyl and other drugs.

One of the members of the organization Dolias allegedly belonged to is named in the complaint as a ranking member of the California-based Bloods street gang. Dolias traveled frequently to California to buy “large quantities” of drugs, according to the testimony. He also visited China to buy a “large quantity of MDMA, or ‘Molly’,” at least once between 2014 and 2018, sending the drug back to New Jersey for distribution to street dealers in Essex County.

Ellsworth Police Chief Glenn Moshier said officers had been “contacted by agents two weeks prior notifying us that Dolias might be in the area,” giving his residence as Florida and saying he was wanted as part of a murder investigation. According to the affidavit, two “co-conspirators” of Dolias were murdered in separate incidents this spring.

The call that Dolias was at Walmart came “out of the blue,” Moshier said.

“The FBI had him in custody when we got there.”

Bureau agents left with Dolias, Moshier said. The FBI declined to provide further information on the murder investigation or Dolias’s last residence.

Dolias has been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, a Class A felony. The charge carries a penalty of at least 10 years and up to life imprisonment, a $10 million fine or both.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]