AUGUSTA — A police chase last week along Interstate 295 and the Maine Turnpike has resulted in two people from Baltimore, Maryland, behind bars on drug trafficking charges and a 5-year-old passenger in the custody of Maine Department of Heath & Human Services.

The trio was bound for Canada, after being unable to purchase airline tickets at the Portland Jetport, according to what one of the suspects told the arresting officer.

On Monday, Lenwood R. Williams, 27, was held on $75,000 bail and Heather L. Buccheri, 29, was held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The two adults made initial court appearances Monday at the Capital Judicial Center via video from the jail.

Both are charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in heroin; one count is based on the amount alleged — more than 6 grams of heroin is alleged — and the second count says a firearm was present.

Both are also charged with unlawful possession of heroin.


Williams faces additional charges of driving to endanger and eluding an officer. All the charges are dated Friday last week, the day Maine State Police Cpl. Christopher Rogers stopped a Black Jeep with Maryland plates reported to be traveling about 90 mph on Interstate 295 in Gardiner, speeding through a toll plaza and finally stopping on I-95 in Hallowell.

Judge Tom Nale set bail at $50,000 cash for Buccheri, the amount the state requested for each, and set it at $75,000 for Williams after asking whether he was the alleged driver.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General John Nathans, said more than 16 grams of heroin was recovered from Buccheri’s purse and makeup bag as well as other usable amounts of heroin, and that she was the person who told police about the loaded handgun in the glove box of the vehicle.

Nathans said Buccheri told officers she “was helping to transport the co-defendant to Canada after he attempted to flee to Mexico.”

Attorney Matthew Morgan, representing Buccheri as attorney of the day, said Williams had put the drugs in Buccheri’s purse and makeup bag. “He said he didn’t want to be shot and took the gun out of his pocket and put it into the glove box,” Morgan said.

Morgan said Buccheri was completely cooperative with authorities and that her partner was having a mental breakdown.


Morgan argued for a lower bail, saying Buccheri was willing to find a place to live in Maine and wanted to be able to have contact with her son, who had been in the car when the chase was in progress.

“The facts indicate, at best, she’s an accomplice here,” Morgan said.

Nathans said neither Williams nor Buccheri have criminal records. However, in support of his bail recommendation, he said, “Both are from Maryland and have no known ties to Maine whatsoever. There’s no evidence they were selling or trafficking, but the mere quantities they were in possession of is indicative of trafficking.”

An affidavit by Rogers filed at the court says he activated his cruiser’s blue lights and siren and the driver kept going, sometimes going into the breakdown lane to pass other vehicles. The incident backed up traffic in both directions late Friday afternoon.

Rogers said Buccheri said the three had stayed at a Portland hotel since two days earlier and Buccheri thought they were going home. She said that when they were unable to get tickets, Williams drove north, saying he was going to Canada.

When Rogers also wrote that when Buccheri arrived at the jail, she said she had cash in her bra, and that $2,957 was found.


Buccheri told police Williams had gotten it from the bank and asked her to hold it since he was leaving the country, Rogers wrote.

Williams was represented at the hearing by attorney Joshua Klein-Golden, as lawyer of the day. Klein-Golden did not argue the bail amount on Monday. Rogers’ affidavit says Williams told police that the heroin was his. “He said he put it in Heather’s purse, though he said he didn’t have a drug problem and he wasn’t selling drugs,” Rogers wrote. Rogers also said police removed a knife from Williams’ waistband when he was searched.

Conditions of bail prohibit the co-defendants from having contact with each other.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.