Bail was set Friday at $100,000 cash or $200,000 worth of property for a Madison man arrested on a charge of aggravated trafficking in heroin.

Jeremy J. Fitzmorris, 38, made his initial appearance in court Friday after a drug search at his home on Blackwell Hill Road in Madison a day earlier.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said the high bail comes with serious crime and heroin is among the most serious crimes facing Maine residents.

“These are very serious charges. It’s a class A crime, which is the highest in our penal code and at the top of the ladder, outside of homicide,” Lancaster said. “This was a substantial drug arrest for Somerset County and, as for the high bail, we took approximately 1,100 bags, or hits, off the street.

“It is a scourge that’s grabbed hold of this state and this county. The problem is with these opiates, you become addicted and you just can’t quit. It’s bad stuff.”

Somerset County Detective Lt. Carl Gottardi led a team of seven deputies, a Madison Division deputy and an agent from Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in executing the search warrant, which turned up about 120 grams of heroin, 20 grams of cocaine, several ounces of marijuana and controlled pills that are in the process of being identified, Lancaster said in a news release.

Also seized were digital scales and other drug-related paraphernalia. The sheriff’s office took possession of more than $6,400 in cash, a Polaris all-terrain vehicle, a Honda all-terrain vehicle, a GMC pickup truck, a Nissan car and a 16-foot trailer.

Those items are believed to be directly related to drug activity and proceeds, Lancaster said.

Lancaster said the raid was the culmination of a several-month investigation, in which Fitzmorris allegedly sold heroin and controlled pills throughout Somerset County.

The seized heroin has a retail street value of about $36,000. Heroin in Somerset County is being sold for about $30 to $35 per bag, according to Lancaster.

The majority of the heroin seized was in 10-gram increments, referred to as “fingers.” Typically, 10 bags of heroin can be derived from each gram of heroin, Lancaster said.

The cocaine has an approximate street retail value of $2,000. Cocaine in Somerset County is generally sold for $100 per gram.

Lancaster said the reason for the class A aggravated trafficking charge is that Fitzmorris had more than 6 grams and more than 270 individual bags of heroin. He was also charged with a class C felony for possession of heroin, and for possession cocaine, also a class C felony. Additional felony and misdemeanor drug-related charges may be forthcoming against Fitzmorris once all the seized drugs are processed and weighed, the sheriff said.

“Charges are anticipated to be lodged against other persons who have been residing at the residence, once consultation and review has been completed with the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office,” Lancaster said.

Gov. Paul LePage told legislative budget writers Thursday that the state’s drug epidemic requires a swifter, more robust law enforcement response and that he will deploy the Maine National Guard if the Legislature doesn’t act to provide more drug agents.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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