Three Oxford County men arrested in connection with heroin distribution ring

Posted April 15, 2014, at 3:56 p.m.

RUMFORD, Maine — Three people were arrested Monday and Tuesday in connection with a heroin distribution ring in Oxford County, police said.

William Heller, 61, of Rumford, Jason Howe, 26, of Bethel and David Cherkis, 45, of Greenwood are all facing multiple charges, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency commander Scott Pelletier said.

An investigation into the trio distributing heroin in the Rumford and Bethel areas began in October by drug agents, Rumford police and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Pelletier said.

On Monday, search warrants were executed at Heller and Howe’s residences, Pelletier said. He noted that police seized over 300 bags of heroin, drug proceedings and other items indicative of drug trafficking from Heller’s home, while 40 bags of heroin, drug proceeds, scales and other items were taken from Howe’s residence.

Heller and Howe were arrested Monday, and Cherkis was arrested Tuesday, Pelletier said. Heller was charged with aggravated trafficking in schedule drugs, Howe was charged with trafficking in schedule drugs, and Cherkis was charged with aggravated trafficking in schedule drugs and criminal conspiracy.

Cherkis was on bail at the time of his arrest on a previous drug charge.

All three men were taken to Oxford County Jail, where bail was set at $15,000 for Heller and $2,500 for Howe. Cherkis was denied bail.

Additional charges are expected against the three.

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