McAllister caught, due in court Monday

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SAXTONS RIVER — A Westminster man who was on the run for 10 days was arrested early Saturday morning after police found him hiding under a bed in an apartment on Main Street in Saxtons River.

Zachariah McAllister, 28, will be in Windham Superior Court in Brattleboro Monday to face a raft of charges which could put him in jail for the rest of his life.

Vermont State Police announced McAllister's arrest Saturday morning, saying he had been arrested after police received information he was staying at an apartment at 36 Main St. in Saxtons River. At 2 a.m., with a search warrant and several arrest warrants, Vermont State Police and Bellows Falls Police emptied the apartments and eventually arrested McAllister.

At the request of the office of Windham County State's Attorney Tracy Kelly Shriver, McAllister was taken to the state prison in Rutland rather than to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. Vermont State Police Sgt. Travis Valcourt said the unusual move was at the request of the county prosecutor's office. Valcourt said he had no information that linked McAllister's arrest and the arrest of another alleged drug dealer the day before, and Shriver refused to comment on whether there was a link.

Christopher Silva, 29, of Westminster, was stopped by Bellows Falls police shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, on Rockingham Street in Bellows Falls and was arrested the next day, Sept. 20, at a home on Barker Street after police received a search warrant for his car and found a cache of cash and drugs.

Police said they found a loaded .38 caliber handgun on Silva, and in his car, they found close to $22,232 in cash and 2,650 bags of heroin. A statement from police said Sgt. Mario Checchi's dog Caesar indicated there were drugs in Silva's vehicle, and police confiscated the vehicle and sought a search warrant.

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Silva is also scheduled to be in court Monday, and he was ordered held for lack of $50,000 bail. Silva is facing charges of drug trafficking and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, according to a Bellows Falls Police report.

Checchi couldn't be reached for comment Sunday. Valcourt said Sunday that the investigation is ongoing and is particularly focused on people who may have aided McAllister during his 10 days on the lam.

McAllister was found in a home on Main Street that is owned by Saxtons River Housing Ltd., and it is for low-income people, said Saxtons River Village President Louise Luring. The small housing complex is managed by Stewart Property Management, which also manages several buildings in Bellows Falls.

In addition to the Vermont arrest warrants already filed against McAllister for dealing fentanyl in Bellows Falls in January 2019 and eluding capture during a large manhunt on Sept. 11, the state of Massachusetts also has an arrest warrant for him on a charge of dealing heroin. He also faces charges for a traffic stop in Brattleboro the morning of Sept. 11 that set off the high-speed chase that ended in the Walpole, N.H., crash that seriously injured a 72-year-old Walpole woman.

Windham County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Brown has filed notice that he intends to seek the habitual offender enhancement against McAllister because of his prior five felony convictions. If convicted of the habitual offender charge, he could be sent to prison for the rest of his life. McAllister also faces potential charges for the motor vehicle crash in Walpole, N.H., Sept. 11. The woman's identity and condition are not known, since this information has not been released by the Cheshire County Sheriff's Department, which investigated the crash.

Contact Susan Smallheer at or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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