Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BRATTLEBORO — A Westminster man who has been in custody since 2019 was sentenced to 6 to 10 years in state prison on a number of charges including eluding police and selling heroin.

On Tuesday, Zachariah McAllister, 30, accepted a plea agreement that runs concurrent to a 30-month sentence he received in March 2020 after pleading guilty to federal drug-dealing charges. The plea agreement with the state is contingent upon McAllister accepting plea deals in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

On Sept. 11, 2019, McAllister fled from police during a traffic stop on Putney Road in Brattleboro. McAllister led police on a high-speed chase that ended after he caused a crash in Walpole, N.H., seriously injuring a 72-year-old woman. McAllister was able to elude arrest but was found 10 days later hiding under a bed in a home in Saxtons River. At the time he was suffering from a bullet wound to his arm after having been shot by his alleged drug-dealing accomplice.

Five days later, following his arraignment in Windham Superior Court in Brattleboro, McAllister was taken into custody by federal agents. He remained in federal custody until the plea agreement was reached with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont. Following the agreement, he was turned over to the state and he has been in a state prison since.

He still faces charges in New Hampshire related to the high-speed chase, as well as drug trafficking charges in Massachusetts. According to the plea agreement reached in Vermont, McAllister faces three to six years in New Hampshire and four to five years in Massachusetts. If he accepts those deals, the sentences would run concurrent to his Vermont sentence.

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Brown acknowledged the “long road” it took to get to the plea agreement but said the “substantial sentence” was necessary to protect the public.

“Mr. McAllister caused a very significant disruption to the community when he engaged in this conduct,” said Brown. “This is not the first time Mr. McAllister has engaged in similar disruptive and highly dangerous conduct in our community.”

According to court documents, McAllister has five state felony convictions including aggravated domestic assault in July 2017; sale of cocaine in May 2013; sale of a hallucinogen in May 2013; burglary in May 2013; and grand larceny in August 2007.

He also has about a dozen misdemeanors, including resisting arrest, violation of conditions of release and violation of probation.

If, once he has served his sentence, McAllister gets in trouble with the law again, he could be considered a habitual offender, said Brown, resulting in serious consequences.

Bob Audette can be contacted at raudette@reformer.com.