SCARBOROUGH – A New York man who recently moved into a house in the quiet suburban neighborhood at Sawyer and Gorham roads is in jail on drug charges after a SWAT team raided the house Wednesday.

Several neighbors interviewed Thursday said the sights and sounds of the bust were alarming and very unusual for the neighborhood.

Heavily armed members of the Southern Maine Regional Special Weapons and Tactics Team, some of them riding a military-style personnel carrier, surround the small saltbox at 129 Sawyer Road. They used “flash-bang” devices — explosives meant to distract and confuse anyone inside the house, as officers burst inside.

The police arrested Rahman Williams, 29, of Brooklyn, N.Y. Williams had lived there a few months and had earlier lived in Portland. A woman and child who were there were released.

Police were executing a no-knock search warrant after a two-week investigation indicated the probability of drug dealing at the house. The warrant was executed without warning as a safety precaution in case guns were present and to ensure no evidence was destroyed, said Scarborough Sgt. John O’Malley, of the town’s special enforcement division.

Williams was watching television when officers burst in. Nobody was hurt, and police said they found heroin, crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and a bullet-proof vest, though no gun. They also encountered a pit bull, but the dog was friendly — more afraid of the officers than threatening toward them — and as a result was treated respectfully, said O’Malley.

Williams is not a big-time dealer, but part of a network used to distribute drugs in Maine, police said. Police acted quickly to arrest him because of concerns about safety in the neighborhood, where several young children live.

Neighbors saw little activity at the house during the day but frequent brief visits at night by many different people, O’Malley said. The reports to police led to Wednesday’s raid, which included Scarborough officers and members of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Williams was being held on $1,060 bail at Cumberland County Jail charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs and possession of crack cocaine.

Police are in contact with federal authorities to determine whether Williams will be charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition or a felon in possession of body armor.

Williams had been charged earlier in the year with carrying a concealed weapon and last year was charged with domestic assault, according to jail records.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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