SKOWHEGAN — A convicted felon is facing drug trafficking and other charges after he fought with a sheriff’s detective Wednesday before leading officials on a chase through downtown Skowhegan, during which he hit several vehicles, including three belonging to law enforcement agencies, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Raymond Ellis Jr. Courtesy photo

In addition to the count of aggravated drug trafficking, Raymond Ellis Jr., 34, of Skowhegan was charged with two counts of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said in an announcement to the news media.

Ellis’ bail was set at $250,000 cash, and he was being held Thursday at the Somerset County Jail in Madison, Mitchell said.

The chase began when sheriff’s Detective David Cole stopped Ellis at Laney’s Pit Stop, a gas station and convenience store at 90 Waterville Road in Skowhegan, according to Mitchell. Cole tried to serve a search warrant for drugs, but Ellis refused to cooperate and then fought with Cole, before fleeing in a Ram pickup truck.

During the subsequent chase through the downtown area, which one witness said lasted 15 to 20 minutes, the pickup truck hit three personal vehicles, two sheriff’s patrol vehicles and an automobile belonging to the Skowhegan Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office vehicles sustained extensive damage, Mitchell said.

Skowhegan police Chief David Bucknam said Wednesday a pedestrian was hit during the chase but not seriously injured. This information was not included in the announcement from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.


The chase ended in the parking lot of the former Solon Manufacturing Co. mill on the island in downtown Skowhegan, where Ellis was arrested.

Video posted to Facebook showed at least six patrol vehicles chasing Ellis’ pickup truck as it entered the parking lot. The video, shot by a person working to rehabilitate the mill building, shows the pickup truck hitting at least two patrol vehicles, before being hemmed in.

Police found a loaded shotgun, ammunition, fentanyl, crack cocaine and drug-related paraphernalia, Mitchell said.

Ellis is not allowed to possess firearms because he has previous felony convictions for burglary, stealing a firearm from a licensed dealer and being in possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, according to Mitchell.

In 2019, Ellis was arrested in Waterville and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Ellis was on federal probation for robbery, Waterville police said at the time.

Jim Sylvester said he was in downtown Skowhegan on Wednesday when he heard several sirens. From where he was sitting, at the corner of Madison Avenue and Water Street, Sylvester said he saw Ellis loop around the downtown business district several times with patrol cruisers following him.

“It was quite a lot of action,” Sylvester, a former sheriff’s deputy and police officer, said.

Sylvester said Ellis looked “calm” as he drove at what Sylvester estimated at 40 to 50 mph.

Ellis has an initial court appearance scheduled for February at Somerset County Unified Criminal Court in Skowhegan.

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