2016-08-27 / Front Page

Police bust Sanford drug trafficking ring

More arrests expected to follow soon, authorities say
By TAMMY WELLS
Senior Staff Writer


Vance Vance SANFORD — When Sanford police and state drug agents arrested Brian Vance on felony heroin trafficking charges Thursday, they say he was carrying a loaded handgun and a knife – along with about $1,500 worth of heroin and fentanyl.

They had been eyeing Vance for about three months, and allegedly made earlier undercover drug purchases from him.

On Thursday afternoon, armed with arrest warrants charging aggravated trafficking in heroin in association with the earlier undercover purchases, they took him into custody while he was walking on Winter Street.

Vance, 27, of Sanford, is not the only the only player in this latest drug investigation, and police say they know who his associates are.

“Additional arrests are expected,” Sanford police and investigators from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said in a joint statement issued late morning on Friday.

The alleged discovery of the handgun and a knife in Vance’s boot illustrates the dangers inherent in Maine’s heroin epidemic that go beyond the obvious dangers of the drug itself, said Scott Pelletier, commander of the southern district of MDEA.

“Maine is experiencing an increase in the number of heroin and fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths,” said Pelletier. “This arrest illustrates the dangers posed to our communities and law enforcement personnel, and the lengths that those who chose to distribute illegal drugs will take by arming themselves with firearms to protect their profits and drugs.”

Police said Vance was carrying about 10 grams of heroin valued at about $1,500.

In all, he was charged with three counts of aggravated heroin trafficking – the third while carrying a firearm. All are Class A felonies, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in state prison upon conviction.

He was initially held on a total of $100,000 cash bail. Vance made a first court appearance via video link Friday, during which his bail was reduced to $50,000 cash.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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