More charges filed against McAllister

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BRATTLEBORO — Police say Zachariah McAllister was in a group meeting at a Brattleboro methadone clinic Wednesday morning when they got a tip he was there, having driven a silver Mercedes.

McAllister, 28, of Westminster, was still eluding arrest Friday, two days after the fateful tip that triggered a massive manhunt in both New Hampshire and Vermont.

On Friday, the Windham County state's attorney's office filed multiple felony drug dealing charges against McAllister, as well as a formal notice that he would be prosecuted as a habitual offender — which includes a potential life-without-parole penalty.

The new charges include four counts of sale of fentanyl-laced heroin in January 2019 that were filed against McAllister, who fled police Wednesday morning after crashing his car into a Walpole, N.H., woman at the intersection or Route 12 and South Street in Walpole. Police have not released information on the 72-year-old Walpole woman's condition.

Since then, police have not been able to

locate McAllister.

Court documents list his parents' home on Morse Brook Road in Westminster as his address, but according to the recent drug charges he also lives in an apartment on the third floor at 160 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls, where most of the alleged drug sales took place.

The drug buys were conducted by the Vermont Drug Task Force working with a confidential informant, according to court documents. Most of the buys were for relatively small amounts — $160 worth of drugs, two bundles or 20 bags of heroin. The drugs allegedly sold by McAllister and his girlfriend, Shaneika Graves-Trotman of Brattleboro, were stamped "Rolex" with a crown, or "ShopRite." Police said Graves-Trotman also sold drugs to the informant.

The two latest arrest warrants for McAllister were issued by Windham Superior Court Judge John Treadwell, one on Thursday and the second on Friday. McAllister would either be held without bail on the drug counts or on $50,000 bail for the incident in Brattleboro on Wednesday.

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Brattleboro police, in a separate affidavit filed Thursday to support their arrest warrant, said they received a tip that McAllister was at a group meeting at a local methadone clinic, Habit OpCo on Putney Road. When police went there to arrest him at around 10 a.m., he left without talking to police. But police eventually pulled him over in front of the old North End Market.

After talking to Brattleboro Police Officer Ryan Washburn, McAllister, refused to get out of his car and took off at a high rate of speed, heading north to the roundabout. He crashed about 30 minutes later in Walpole, and then fled on foot through cornfields, across the Connecticut River and eventually to Westminster, where he was seen by several residents along Route 5.

That prompted a large police manhunt on both sides of the river, and also involved a New Hampshire State Police helicopter.

Washburn said in a court-filed affidavit that McAllister was "very flustered" and jumpy when he talked to him outside of the closed market, and McAllister readily admitted he didn't have a legal license to drive. Washburn said he knew McAllister from previous incidents, and knew of his history of running from police.

Washburn quoted McAllister as saying, "Dude, it's suspended," becoming irate, yelling and swearing and then taking off at a high rate of speed north on Putney Road, estimated in excess of 65 mph.

According to court records, the license plate on the 2014 Mercedes, Vermont GLL833, was assigned to a different car, a silver Mazda 6.

Washburn was attempting to arrest him based on an Aug. 20 arrest warrant issued by Windham Superior Court when McAllister failed to show up in court to face charges he drove a motorcycle without a license on Morse Brook Road in Westminster, as well as an ATV. He is also facing heroin trafficking charges in Holyoke, Mass.

The habitual offender notice, filed by the state's attorney's office, listed five previous felony convictions, which can trigger the habitual offender statute. Those previous felonies include an aggravated domestic assault, sale of hallucinogens, burglary, grand larceny and another count of burglary. The crimes occurred in 2017, 2016, 2013, and dated back to 2007.

McAllister's younger brother Jacob was involved in a very similar incident in 2017, fleeing from a traffic stop in Brattleboro and taking off at high speed, only to crash in Westminster. Jacob McAllister died last year of a drug overdose.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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