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Criminal Mischief (03/04/2020)

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High-speed chase leads to crash

AUBURN (AP) — A 15-year-old boy led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle before crashing into a convenience store early Saturday, police said.

The pursuit reached speeds up to 90 mph and police abandoned the pursuit in downtown Auburn before the car crashed, police said.

The driver was evaluated at Maine Medical Center and transported to Long Creek Youth Development Center for an unrelated warrant. The passenger was not charged and was returned to his parents.

The chase began early Saturday, just after midnight, when a Cumberland County deputy headed to an unrelated emergency in Gray noticed a car that was being operated erratically and learned that it was stolen.

The deputy pursued the suspect through New Gloucester and into Auburn, where Auburn police joined the chase. No one was hurt in the incident and the teenage driver was not identified.

State announces pot task force

PORTLAND (AP) — Maine plans to create a new division of the state Drug Enforcement Agency tasked with regulatory compliance as well as monitoring illegal activity that competes with state-licensed growers, processors and retailers.

Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday the four-person unit will be funded annually by $649,000 in cannabis tax and licensing revenue, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Advocates for cannabis say the state should be trying to help businesses comply with regulations, not prosecute them.

“We do not want to see one additional person incarcerated for marijuana,” said Mark Barnett, a Portland coffee shop owner applying for a recreational cannabis license. “It’s a move in the wrong direction and counter to the very idea of legalization.”

Rep. Kent Ackley believes the unit will create what he called a “risk premium” and force the shutdown of the black market for fear of prosecution and fines.

“My hope would be that we don’t have to send people to jail to convince the gray market to participate in the regulated marketplace,” Ackley told lawmakers Monday. “Nonetheless, the threat of doing that is an important piece of what we’re trying to accomplish with these four agents.”

Some lawmakers question the decision to spend so much in state funds in pursuit of cannabis crimes amid an ongoing opioid crisis.

“I thought we legalized cannabis,” said Rep. Charlotte Warren, D-Hallowell, co-chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. “If we have spent a total of $33.2 million over just the time I’ve been in the legislature, why are we adding more agents for something that we actually legalized?”

Brewer man charged with arson

BREWER - The State Fire Marshal’s Office says a Brewer man has been charged with setting a fire to a house in Brewer early Christmas morning. 

Investigators arrested 30-year-old Julio Orsini on February 25 and charged him with arson. They say he set fire to a home at 20 Maple Street causing significant damage to the duplex. The fire started in the entry way to the building at about 12:30 a.m. on December 25. No one was home at the time of the fire. 

Orsini lives on the same street; he was taken to the Penobscot County Jail. 

Mexico cocaine arrest

MEXICO - The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has charged a man from Mexico, Maine with selling cocaine. Arrested was 43-year-old Richard Burgess of Mexico, charged with Aggravated Trafficking in Cocaine and two counts of Trafficking in Cocaine. The aggravating factor was related to firearms.

For the past month, agents from the MDEA Western District Task Force conducted an investigation regarding the distribution of cocaine from Burgess’ home at 24 Kimball Ave., where drug agents conducted undercover purchases of cocaine from him.

On the afternoon of February 26, agents (along with Mexico Police and State Troopers) searched Burgess’ home. Burgess was home at the time and arrested without incident. The search resulted in the seizure of approximately 400 grams of cocaine and over $15,000 in suspected drug proceeds, as well as 16 guns, a number of which were loaded and hidden in various locations around the home that also included cocaine and cash. Agents also found several grams of cocaine on Burgess when they arrested him. The street value of the seized cocaine is $35,000

Burgess was taken to the Oxford County Jail where bail was set at $50,000 cash. Assisting drug agents were Mexico and Rumford Police, along with state police.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 March 2020 06:57


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