LEWISTON — A New Jersey man was arrested on drug and gun charges Thursday night as police continue their efforts to crack down on violence in the downtown area.

Elisah Rios Lewiston Police Department

Police said Elisah Rios, 23, of Jersey City was arrested after he was found in possession of oxycodone, methamphetamine and a firearm during a traffic stop on Bartlett Street.

Rios was charged with unlawful drug possession, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, falsifying evidence and violating conditions of release. He was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn where he remained Friday.

Rios is no stranger to criminal activity in downtown Lewiston, according to court records. In 2020, he was one of three people charged in connection with a shooting at Walnut and Pierce streets.

In that incident, Rios was the victim of the shooting. Police arrested him after he was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg because he was in violation of probation related to an earlier gun-related conviction.

During their investigation into that shooting, police recovered four handguns, more than 50 grams of heroin and $1,000 in suspected drug proceeds. One of those arrested in that shooting was from Lewiston. The other two were from Massachusetts and New Jersey.


Rios was also arrested in September 2018 after he was found, at Bradley and Pine streets, in possession of a stolen gun. Police had gone to the area for reports that Rios was carrying the weapon down Walnut Street. At the time of that arrest, Rios was one of six people charged with drug and gun crimes over the course of two days.

The Lewiston Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit have been conducting extra patrols in the downtown area in response to several shootings and other incidents over the the summer.

In July, two men were killed in a shootout on Knox Street. A week after that, two people were injured in a shooting near Dufresne Plaza on Lisbon Street.

In mid-August, police and city leaders invited citizens to two safety forums where the matter of downtown violence was discussed.

Mayor Carl Sheline has also pledged to start an advisory committee to discuss the problems.

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