WATERVILLE — Police said they arrested a “fairly significant player” in Waterville’s illegal drug business and seized significant amounts of heroin, crack cocaine and prescription pills in an early morning search of a Sherwin Street apartment.

Brian Danaher, 29, of 11 Sherwin St. was arrested Friday and charged with multiple counts of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs.

The arrest follows a monthlong investigation by Waterville Police Department detectives Sgt. Bill Bonney and Dave Caron into Danaher’s drug business, Chief Joseph Massey said in an interview Friday afternoon.

Six Waterville officers executed a search warrant on the apartment at 5 a.m. Friday. Danaher was arrested in his bedroom, where he was asleep with his 7-year-old daughter, Massey said. He lives in the apartment with his mother, but she is not being charged, Massey added.

Police seized about 4 ounces of crack cocaine, 3 ounces of heroin and 153 30-milligram OxyContin pills in the search. The street value of the drugs is about $45,000, according to Massey.

“This is really significant,” Massey said.

In addition, police seized $5,300 in cash, a Samsung flat-screen television and a 2010 Ford Focus during the search.

Danaher was charged with three counts of class A aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs and is being held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta in lieu of $30,000 cash bail and a probation hold. Class A crimes carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Danaher is familiar to police and has a history of contacts with Waterville officers going back 10 years, Massey said.

He was convicted of aggravated trafficking in 2011 and was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime. After that offense, Danaher apparently returned to dealing drugs, Massey said.

“City detectives have suspected for a long time that he has been selling drugs, and they received information that supported that suspicion,” Massey said.

When Danaher was arrested, his daughter was sleeping five feet away from a nightstand that had large quantities of heroin and OxyContin on it, Massey added. “Heaven forbid she would have ingested any of it,” he said.

Danaher’s arrest may disrupt his clients’ buying, but they probably will turn to other sources, Massey added.

The arrest comes on the heels of a heroin overdose death in Waterville and a broader discussion of drug abuse, and particularly heroin addiction, in Maine.

Gov. Paul LePage has scheduled a summit for next week on the issue with law enforcement and medical professionals. Attorney General Janet Mills released figures yesterday that indicate overdose deaths in Maine from heroin or fentanyl, another painkiller, are on pace to meet or exceed the 100 who died from overdoses in 2014.

“Drugs are a priority and it is a real challenge for us to get a handle on it,” Massey said.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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