South Portland, Scarborough police assist in state's largest heroin bust

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A Connecticut man is being held on $250,000 cash bail after his arrest in what police said is the biggest seizure of heroin in the state’s history. 

James Jamison, 33, of Waterbury, Connecticut, was arrested Friday, July 1, by members of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s Aroostook County Task Force, along with members of the South Portland and Scarborough police departments.

Officers seized two pounds of the illegal substance, packaged individually into 10,000 bags, with a collective value of more than $450,000, according to a July 1 press release from spokesman Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety. 

Jamison made his first court appearance Tuesday, July 5, at the Cumberland County Courthouse, where he faced charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, eluding an officer, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal trespass. 

It is expected that Jamison will also be charged with aggravated trafficking by the Aroostook County district attorney. He is being held at the Cumberland County Jail. 

Jamison’s arrest culminated several months of work by the MDEA, the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Fairfield Police Department and the Connecticut State Police Narcotics Task Force. 

He was located near the Cracker Barrel restaurant on Maine Mall Road in South Portland – where police believe he was going to sell the illegal substance – and rammed a drug enforcement agency van before fleeing the scene in his vehicle. Two of the three officers in the van were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment of minor injuries, and were released later in the day. 

Shortly after ramming the van, Jamison crashed into a delivery truck at the corner of Payne and Cummings roads in Scarborough. Police allege Jamison then fled on foot to the nearby Fairfield Inn Marriott hotel, where he was eventually apprehended by officers. 

Outside the courthouse Tuesday, Scott Pelletier, of the MDEA, told WMTW that Jamison had been to the state “a number of times for the sole purpose of distributing heroin.”

Pelletier remarked on the high volume of the drugs seized, which, he said represented “10,000 individual doses – an extremely large amount of heroin.”

In response to the seizure, Pelletier said, “I would like to think it saved lives.”

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.