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Arrest made in Brunswick-centered heroin network

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Arrest made in Brunswick-centered heroin network

BRUNSWICK — A Boston man was arrested April 30 and charged in connection with a heroin trafficking network police say was transporting weekly shipments of the drug for distribution in Brunswick and the southern Sagadahoc County area. 

The arrest resulted from a month-long investigation led by agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency's Mid-Coast and Cumberland District Task Force. 

Alex Santiago, 25, was arrested in a Yarmouth parking lot at 11:30 a.m. on April 30, after allegedly arriving to deliver 10 grams of heroin worth $3,000 to an undercover agent, according to MDEA Commander Scott Pelletier. 

Santiago is accused of being a member of a group of Massachusetts men who travelled to Maine on a weekly basis to deliver bulk heroin to local distributors, Pelletier said. 

In an interview, Pelletier said no local distributors have been charged in connection with the investigation, but more arrests are expected. 

The group would use local hotel rooms to distribute the drugs and collect proceeds from sales, Pelletier said. 

Santiago's arrest will only make a small dent in the supply of heroin coming into the Mid-Coast from out of state, Pelletier said. 

Heroin purchased in southern New England or New York can sell in Maine for triple or quadruple its purchase price, Pelletier noted, making the state a "lure" for distributors looking for high profits.

Because of the influx, heroin has become a primary focus for the MDEA, Pelletier said. 

The Bath, Brunswick and Yarmouth police departments, Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office, and U.S. Marshal Service Violent Offenders Task Force assisted in the investigation. 

Peter L. McGuire can be reached at pmcguire@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 100.