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Criminal Mischief (05/16/2018)

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Bangor drug bust

BANGOR – A probation check has led to the arrest of a Bangor man on a number of significant drug violations.

At around 1:15 p.m. on the afternoon of May 10, two officers from Bangor PD went to a residence on Crestmont Road to conduct a probation check. The officers knew it was the residence of 36-year-old Kareen Barker, who was on probation for a 2015 aggravated assault conviction in Androscoggin County. The officers had also received information suggesting Barker may be involved in illegal drug activity.

Barker was initially cooperative, but when asked where his bedroom was, he led officers to a different room. The deception was unsuccessful and the officers soon discovered Barker’s actual bedroom. Barker’s attitude changed as soon as the officers began searching his bedroom. When an officer discovered illegal drugs, Barker headed for the back door.

The officers attempted to stop Barker, who refused to submit. All three ended up in a struggle on the floor. During the struggle, Barker attempted to destroy some of the illegal drugs. After a few moments, the officers managed to handcuff and gain control of Barker.

Afterwards, the officers completed their search and found approximately 15 grams of crack cocaine and 24 grams of suspected heroin and two grams of methamphetamine, along with $1872 in suspected drug proceeds. The drugs have an estimated street value of $6500.

Due to the amount of drugs present and a prior drug conviction in the state of New York, Barker has been charged with the following:

Two counts of Aggravated Trafficking a Schedule W Drug (heroin/cocaine), Class A; one count of Illegal Possession of a Schedule W Drug (methamphetamine), Class C; Refusing to Submit to Arrest, Class D; Falsifying Physical Evidence, Class D; and Violation of Probation

Barker was taken to Penobscot County Jail.

Cruiser theft leads to crash

DEXTER – A Dexter man is in serious condition following a sequence of events that included the theft of a police cruiser.

According to multiple reports, on the morning of May 11, the Dexter Police Department sent officers to a Garland Road residence to assist with the arrest of 22-year-old Tyler Tibbetts on a parole violation.

Tibbetts was cuffed with his hands behind his back and placed in the back seat of the cruiser. While officers were speaking to the suspect’s girlfriend, Tibbetts apparently managed to move his cuffed hands to his front. He then proceeded to squeeze through the window opening between the front and back seats of the cruiser – an opening that is just 11 inches on each side.

Tibbetts drove off in the police car, eventually abandoning it in Garland just a few miles away.

Tibbetts subsequently stole another vehicle and was identified later in the day. He proceeded to lead police on a high-speed chase that ended when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed along Route 15 in Dover-Foxcroft.

Tibbetts suffered serious injuries in the crash and was flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center via LifeFlight.

Cocaine in the County

ST. AGATHA – An Aroostook County man has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of cocaine trafficking.

On the evening of May 11, agents with Maine Drug Enforcement Agency - assisted by Aroostook Sheriff’s Deputies, State Troopers, Border Patrol Agents and Agents of Homeland Security Investigations - searched the home of 37-year-old Eric Blanchette on the Bouchard Road in St. Agatha. Blanchette was home at the time, but refused to open the door so agents had to force their way into the home.

Blanchette was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated trafficking in cocaine, all Class A felonies. The charges are aggravated because Blanchette was previously convicted of trafficking in cocaine in 2008. In addition to Blanchette, agents also seized a cell phone used to facilitate drug transactions and cash from the sale of drugs.

While in handcuffs in his driveway, Blanchette broke from custody and tried to escape. After a brief foot pursuit, he was again in custody and had an escape charge added to his list of offenses.

Blanchette was taken to the Aroostook County Jail without further incident; he was released the next day on $15,000 cash bail. If convicted on one of the aggravated drug trafficking offenses, Blanchette faces a minimum four-year prison sentence, with a maximum allowable sentence of 30 years.

The arrest was the culmination of a MDEA criminal investigation that began in January from information provided by the Fort Kent Police Department. The case will now be in the hands of the Aroostook County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes all state drug offenses in Aroostook County. 


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