SANFORD — Five people, including three family members, are facing felony heroin trafficking and possession charges after three of them allegedly sold drugs to undercover agents.

The five were arrested Monday following a two-month joint investigation by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Sanford Police Department. It is the second significant heroin bust in Sanford since just before Christmas, when two people were charged with trafficking following a raid and three more were charged with other crimes.

On Monday, drug agents and police arrested Derek A. Gerrish, 25, his sister Erika Gerrish, 26, and their uncle Michael Gerrish, 46, along with Cynthia Powers, 49, and Donald Nordmann, 48. All are of 7 North St.

Maine Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said additional charges are expected.

Derek Gerrish and Powers are each charged with two Class B felony counts of unlawful trafficking in heroin and are held in lieu of $20,000 cash bail at York County Jail. Nordmann is charged with one Class B felony count of heroin trafficking and is also held in lieu of $20,000 cash bail. McCausland said undercover purchases were made from each of them at the residence.

Erika Gerrish and Michael Gerrish are each charged with Class C felony heroin possession and are held on $5,000 cash bail.

Seized from the residence was approximately 19 grams of heroin, scales, packing materials and drug ledgers. The street value of the seized heroin is about $4,000.

Sanford Police Chief Tom Connolly said his agency and the state drug enforcement agency work well together. Sanford, like many small cities, doesn’t have the resources to fund a drug unit, he pointed out.

MDEA agents were on hand with Sanford Police during an early morning raid Dec. 23 at a small subdivision called Calvin’s Way. That raid was the culmination of a joint drug investigation between detectives from the Sanford Police Department and MDEA agents.

Connolly said socioeconomic issues tend to drive drug proliferation.

“If you have no job and nothing to do, (you’re) probably more inclined to get involved with things not good for you,” he said. And the chief pointed out that heroin is about one-third the cost of illegal prescription opiates.

Class B crimes carry a maximum prison term of 10 years; Class C crimes carry a maximum five-year term.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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