A veteran D.C. police detective assigned to the vice squad in Southeast was arrested yesterday at police headquarters and charged with distributing heroin.

George W. Green, 38, of Oxon Hill, who has been on the force 12 years, was charged with possession of heroin and with distributing heroin on Oct. 1, according to a D.C. Superior Court grand jury indictment, which was unsealed yesterday after the arrest.

The indictment, which was handed down Tuesday, does not say who allegedly received the heroin or how much was distributed.

Green pleaded not guilty at his arraignment yesterday. Judge Paul F. McCardle ordered him released on his personal recognizance on the conditions that he stay out of the 7th Police District, where he was assigned, and that he submit to periodic urine tests to check for possible drug use. McArdle ordered Green to appear Dec. 2 for a status hearing.

Green's attorney, H. Yale Smith, said in an interview last night that Green denies wrongdoing. He was placed on administrative leave with pay.

Officials in the 7th District began collecting information on Green a year ago, William R. Dixon, assistant chief of police, said yesterday. They turned their information over to the department's internal affairs division a few months ago, he said.

Green is the fifth D.C. police officer either indicted or arrested this year on narcotics charges. Investigators said yesterday they believe the cases to be unconnected.