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Criminal Mischief (06/21/2017)

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Annual State Police awards

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Police have issued their annual awards.

A Maine State Police detective has been named “Trooper of the Year.”

Christopher Crawford of Cornville was named to the honor on June 15 by the Chief of the State Police, Colonel Robert Williams. Crawford is assigned to the Major Crimes Unit in Augusta.

Williams said Crawford is a “seasoned investigator who has been involved in several high profile investigations in recent years.” One of the recent cases in which Crawford played a leading role in was the homicide investigation last August of a Fairfield woman found buried in woods near her home. Her husband is now awaiting trial for murder. 

Other cases include a half-million dollar embezzlement case from the Anson town hall and a theft ring targeting Wal-Marts where $250,000 in cash was seized from the suspect’s home. 

Crawford was a patrol officer for Madison Police for eight years prior to joining the State Police in 2009.

In addition, retired Detective-Sergeant Dale Ames was named “Legendary Trooper.”

Ames served from 1964 to 1984. For most of his 20-year career with the State Police, he investigated murders as a member of the department’s old homicide squad which responded to almost every homicide in the state. In retirement, Ames moved to Fort Fairfield before recently relocating to East Machias. 

Other recipients of State Police honors at the annual awards ceremony:

Lt. Scott Ireland – Bravery – for saving the life of a teenager threatening to jump off an Augusta bridge.

Trooper Gavin Hagar – Bravery – for using his cruiser to block a tractor trailer going the wrong way on the Maine Turnpike.

Sgt. Michael Zabarsky – Meritorious Service – for rescuing a woman inside a burning house in Hiram.

Sgt. Tom Pappas, Troopers Martin Royal and Brian Hink – Special Awards of Commendation – for their role in intercepting and arresting a number of drug dealers in Oxford County that were importing heroin and fentanyl from Massachusetts.

Retired Trooper Brenda Coolen – Colonel’s Award – for her role in helping to discover a methamphetamine lab inside a Stetson home.

And 14-year-old Brandon Wright from Blaine – Colonel’s Award – for assisting State Police with information that lead to the capture of a woman who had broken into his home, while he was there.

Skowhegan auto arson

SKOWHEGAN - The State Fire Marshal’s Office has charged a 15-year-old Skowhegan boy in connection with four car fires that took place in Skowhegan on the morning of June 12. 

The boy was arrested at his home by Fire Marshals and Skowhegan Police on the afternoon of June 13. The boy is charged with one count of arson and burglary. He was taken to the Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston and went to court in Skowhegan the next day. 

The four fires were set around 4 a.m. on the morning of June 12; the vehicles targeted were located in the Family Circle housing complex and on West Front Street. Two of the vehicles were destroyed, while the other two were badly damaged. 

According to investigators, the fires were set by lighting combustible materials inside the four vehicles.  During a search of the boy’s home, a set of keys to one of the vehicles were found under the boy’s pillow.

Augusta drug bust

AUGUSTA - Maine Drug Enforcement Agents and Augusta Police have charged three men, two of them from New York, with selling heroin and cocaine from an Augusta motel room, according to a press release.

The email from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland states that the trio was arrested on the afternoon of June 12 inside their motel room on Edison Drive. Seized from the room was 43 grams of heroin and 23 grams of cocaine with a total street value of $11,000. Also seized was $3,677 in cash.

Arrested and taken to the Kennebec County Jail were 41-year-old Travis Moore of Augusta and Stephon Sullivan, 20, and Sammy Virella, 19, both from New York City. All three men are charged with aggravated trafficking of a schedule “W” drug.

Drug agents said the New York men were alternating between two Augusta motels to sell the drugs over the past month, according to the release.

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