ELLSWORTH, Maine — Two Washington County men are facing felony drug charges after they were involved in a car chase with police early Wednesday morning on Route 9, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
MDEA officials said in a prepared statement that they learned James Storey, 48, of Baileyville, and perhaps others were planning to travel out of state to purchase heroin for distribution in Washington County.
At around midnight Tuesday night, MDEA officers found a 1998 Chevrolet Tracker headed east on Route 9 in Eddington, the statement said. MDEA had a search warrant for the vehicle and asked for assistance from Maine State Police in stopping it, but when troopers tried to get the car to pull over, the driver allegedly refused to stop, police said in the release.
“This resulted in a chase that covered approximately six miles ending on a dead end road in Amherst,” Peter Arno, division commander for MDEA, wrote in the release.
Occupants of the vehicle had thrown packages of heroin from the car during the pursuit, Arno wrote, which later were recovered by troopers and deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. In all, police found approximately 20 grams of heroin by the side of the highway, he said.
“The drug was packaged in two 10-gram packages known as ‘fingers,’” Arno said. “In addition, $3,680 in U.S. currency, which was located in the vehicle, was also seized as part of this investigation.”
Arno noted that the heroin seized was packaged in a bulk amount. Heroin typically is sold bagged in individual amounts of one-tenth of a gram, with each bag typically selling for approximately $40, he said. The total quantity of heroin seized would have amounted to 200 individual resale bags with a total street value of around $8,000, he added.
Storey was driving the Tracker when it stopped, Arno wrote, and was accompanied by another male and a female. Storey was arrested on charges of aggravated trafficking in heroin, eluding a police officer, driving to endanger, and operating a motor vehicle in excess of 30 mph over the speed limit. The trafficking charge is aggravated because more than 6 grams of heroin were seized, Arno wrote, and it is a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Storey has at least one other felony drug conviction in Maine, according to Arno.
Also arrested was Dustin White, 28, of East Machias, on felony charges of possession of heroin and hindering apprehension or prosecution.
The female who was in the car has not been charged with any crimes at this point, Arno said.
Arno said Storey and White were transported to the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth where bail was set at $5,000 cash or $25,000 surety for Storey, and at $500 cash for White. Storey remains at the Hancock County Jail, while White was able to post bail Wednesday morning.
Both men are due to appear in Hancock County Superior Court on the respective charges on Sept. 26.