Maine State Police arrested a Maryland driver Friday afternoon after a brief chase that caused traffic to back up in both directions on the Maine Turnpike.

Lenwood Williams, 27, faces charges of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, eluding an officer and driving to endanger.

The chase started around 2 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the turnpike south of the toll plaza in West Gardiner, which the driver went through without stopping. Police said the pursuit ended near the Hallowell-Litchfield Road overpass, when Williams pulled over and stopped.

The chase speed reached up to 90 mph during the incident, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McCausland said police seized drugs and a gun from the vehicle, which emergency radio traffic indicated was a black Jeep with Maryland license plates. Williams was taken to the Kennebec County jail, where he remained Friday evening.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency was assisting in the investigation.

Two drivers called police to report the vehicle driving erratically.

Traffic was backed up in both directions as late as 4 p.m., with bumper-to-bumper gridlock for several miles.


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