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Maine's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Maine | NewsCenterMaine.com

Off-duty Conway police officer recognizes wanted man; arrest at hotel leads to further drug charges

Christopher Burnell has a lengthy criminal history to include several arrests for possession of controlled drugs, according to police.
Credit: NBC

CONWAY, N.H. — Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, an off-duty Conway police officer saw Christopher Burnell, 37, of Chatham, NH at the drive-thru of a restaurant in North Conway. 

According to police, Burnell was known to have an open felony arrest warrant in New Hampshire for felon in possession of a dangerous weapon as defined by NH RSA 159:3. 

After leaving the drive-thru, police said Burnell was seen entering a local hotel. Conway officers responded to the hotel and said they located Burnell in a first-floor room which had been rented by a female friend. 

When officers approached the door of the room, they said Burnell retreated to the bathroom inside the room, locked the door, and refused to come out for the officers after being repeatedly told that there was an open warrant for his arrest. 

The room was secured by several officers. After about 25 minutes of communication through the bathroom door, Burnell opened the door and officers were able to take him into custody without further incident. 

He was transported to Memorial Hospital by North Conway Ambulance for evaluation as it appeared that he was under the influence of drugs. A search warrant was executed on the room where Burnell was located and police said they seized approximately 115 grams of what is believed to be heroin/fentanyl and a large amount of drug paraphernalia.

Burnell was released from the hospital later that evening and transported to the Carroll County House of Corrections on the open warrant for his arrest.

The Conway Police Department will be adding the additional charges of possession of controlled/narcotic drugs with the intent to distribute as defined by NH RSA 318-B:2; falsifying physical evidence as defined by NH RSA 641:6; and resisting arrest or detention as defined by NH RSA 642:2.

Burnell has a lengthy criminal history to include several arrests for possession of controlled drugs, according to police. He is scheduled to appear before the Ossipee Superior Court on Thursday afternoon for a bail hearing.