LEWISTON — A Greene man was arrested on drug and weapons charges Thursday after leading police on a car chase before fleeing on foot near Tall Pines.
The noontime chase ultimately involved three police agencies, an airplane and a tracking dog.
When it was over, Chad Michael Nichols, 31, was arrested by Lewiston police on warrants charging unlawful possession of heroin and cocaine, aggravated drug trafficking, trafficking in prison contraband and illegal possession of a firearm.
Nichols was also charged with eluding police, driving to endanger, criminal speed and driving after having been declared a habitual offender by Maine State Police who pursued him through rural parts of Greene before the chase ended in Lewiston.
The drama began just before noon when a pair of Lewiston’s plain-clothes drug agents spotted Nichols while conducting surveillance. Nichols, known to be wanted on multiple warrants, was seen getting into a white Cadillac Escalade.
Lewiston police notified State Police, who had a trooper in the area. Trooper Ryan Phillips attempted to stop Nichols near Robinson Gardens on Russell Street, police said, but Nichols refused to pull over.
Nichols continued driving out on College Road, leading police on a high-speed chase through Greene. When Nichols circled back toward Lewiston, police there attempted to stop his Cadillac with a spike mat on Route 202, but the effort failed.
With the speeding Cadillac headed toward a busy section of Lewiston, police opted to break off the chase, although a police pilot in the air was able to maintain a view of the vehicle.
Nichols abandoned the Cadillac near Tall Pines, police said, fleeing into the woods and launching a police manhunt in and around the apartment complex there.
Police were searching with a tracking dog, the State Police K9 Gus, when they learned that Nichols had been picked up by a friend and driven away from the area. Police then tracked him to the area of Webster Street and Scribner Boulevard, a mile and a half way, where he was arrested without incident.
According to court records, Nichols has a criminal history of drug offenses in the area dating to 2010. He was indicted in December of 2019 on charges of possession and trafficking in scheduled drugs, charges for which he was wanted when police spotted him on Thursday.
When police arrested Nichols on Thursday afternoon, they also located Amanda Engelbert, 29, of Greene, who was arrested on warrants charging her with failure to appear in court on a theft charge.
Police said Engelbert played a role in the Thursday afternoon chase, but they did not specify how. The case remains under investigation.