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VASSALBORO MAN PLEADS GUILTY ON EVE OF TRIAL, GETS FIVE YEARS FOR HEROIN TRAFFICKING
July 22, 2003
JULY 22, 2003
JAMES M. CAMERON, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, 207-626-8800
Attorney General Steven Rowe reported today that Vini Heikkila, 44, of Vassalboro was sentenced Monday to ten years in prison, all but five years suspended, for aggravated trafficking in heroin (class A) and importation of heroin (class C).
Heikkila’s charges stem from an investigation conducted by agents from the Augusta Field Office of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Agents learned that Heikkila was driving a rental car to Massachusetts to purchase heroin for sale in Maine. As officers waited for Heikkila to return, Special Agent Lowell Woodman, the lead investigator in this case, obtained a warrant to search Heikkila’s car and person. Heikkila’s car was stopped in Gardiner and searched. 200 bags of “TOP DOG” heroin were found hidden in the engine compartment of the rental car. An additional 94 bags of heroin were found hidden in one of Heikkila’s socks. He admitted at the time of the offense he had driven to Massachusetts, purchased 300 bags of heroin, and used six of the bags during the journey back to Maine.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Lara Nomani, and was investigated by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with assistance from the Gardiner Police Department and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. Nomani stated: “This case shows the consequences of the tough new heroin laws that the Legislature adopted in 2001. Trafficking in over 270 bags of heroin can result in a mandatory minimum four-year prison sentence. Importing narcotics from another state or country is a felony.”