A Bridgton man was found guilty on Feb. 6 of aggravated furnishing (fentanyl) causing the death of an Eliot teen last year. Ricky Higgins, 23, was sentenced to four years from conviction (a total of five years for the Class B felony charge). He has been incarcerated since February 2019.
Just before noon on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, Bridgton Police received a call of a suspected overdose on Pond Road. Officer Josh Muise responded and found an unresponsive 18-year-old female in a bedroom.
Officer Muise administered Narcan just as paramedics from United Ambulance arrived and began working on the female, identified as Madison Graham. At about 12:45 p.m., paramedics declared the teen had died.
An autopsy determined that the teen had died of an overdose.
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and State Police assisted Bridgton Police in the investigation. State Police initially arrested Higgins on a probation violation while investigators worked the case. BPD Sgt. Phil Jones said investigators found fentanyl locked in a safe at the residence, along other drug paraphernalia and a loaded firearm. Sgt. Jones said, “The drugs found in her system were the same found in the room and safe. She had no connection to the area, other than Ricky Higgins being her source.”
Sgt. Jones said the five-year sentence might appear on the “light side,” but he noted that Graham “was a willing participant in the matter,” which was also the reason the district attorney’s office went with the charge of furnishing rather than trafficking.
Sgt. Jones credited the conviction on the collaborative effort between Bridgton Police, Maine State Police and Maine Drug Enforcement.
Graham was born in Dover, N.H., was raised in South Berwick and Eliot and attended both York and Marshwood High School, graduating in 2018 from Arthur R. Gould School. She continued her education by completing some college courses with hopes of helping those struggling in the future.
Her obituary added, “Although Maddy lost her lifetime battle with addiction, she never let it define her. She was adored by all who knew her and was a beautiful soul with a loving heart and a passion for always helping the underdog. With her great sense of humor, she brought life and laughter to every room she entered. Maddy loved young children, was adored by her younger cousins, was a talented artist, writer and singer, who cherished her relationships with her family and with God.”