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Criminal Mischief - (09/16/15)

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Augusta chase ends in PIT

AUGUSTA A man who claims he is homeless got into a chase with Trooper Diane Vance after he nearly collided head on with her cruiser in Sidney.

On Sept. 10, Vance attempted to stop the driver, later identified as John J. Gagnon, 56, a transient, between Sidney and Route 202 in Manchester, but he refused to pull over. She lost sight of him when the car veered down a narrow woods road in Manchester, off Route 202. Other troopers, Kennebec sheriff's deputies and Augusta police converged on the area looking for the car, which disappeared for about half an hour. During that time the license plates on the Subaru station wagon were switched from a NH plate to one from MA.

The car was later spotted on Puddle Dock Road in Manchester and the chase continued out Summerhaven Road, onto Route 27 and back toward Augusta at speeds over 80 miles per hour. Troopers ended the chase on the Leighton Road when a trooper used a precision immobilization tactic (PIT maneuver) to force the fleeing car into a controlled spin. The car came to rest wedged between a tree and a guide wire of a utility pole by Allen's Transfer.

Gagnon has a long criminal history in Maine, including several jail terms. He now faces a variety of charges from the pursuit and was taken to the Kennebec County Jail.

Meth lab found in Old Town

OLD TOWN Three people are in custody following the discovery of a meth lab inside an Old Town apartment house. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said this is the 33rd meth lab response they have made this year.

On Sept. 8, Old Town Police received a tip that the manufacturing of methamphetamine was taking place inside an apartment on 3 Howard Street on French Island. The apartment was secured during the night awaiting the MDEA meth lab response team, which arrived on Sept. 9 to process the scene. The Old Town Fire Department and Maine DEP also assisted at the scene.

Charged with trafficking in methamphetamine is the tenant of the apartment, Tina Clavette, 42, along with Joshua Doucette, 35, of Milford and Aaron Coker, 27, a transient from Old Town. The trio was taken to the Penobscot County Jail.

Last year, MDEA responded to a record number of 37 meth labs, and the Old Town incident is only four shy of that number.

Smooth' operation busted in Bangor

BANGOR Five people have been arrested on felony drug charges in connection with a six-month investigation into trafficking large quantities of heroin over a three-county area. This was a major investigation involving the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Bangor Police, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine Attorney General's Office. The investigation included several undercover heroin purchases from inside a Bangor home.

Earlier this year, MDEA's North Central Task Force in Bangor opened the investigation into the suspected drug activities of Daniel and Laura Lyons, who were suspected of selling heroin from their mobile home on Essex Street in Bangor.

On Sept. 10, MDEA Agents, Bangor Police and federal drug agents, served a search warrant at the mobile home and seized about thirty grams of heroin, $12,000 in cash and a sawed-off shotgun. In all, almost 50 grams of heroin was seized during the entire investigation, with a street value of $15,000.

Charged thus far are the following:

Dionhaywood Blackwell (AKA 'Smooth'), 31, of New Haven, Connecticut was charged with class A aggravated trafficking in a schedule W drug (heroin) the charge was aggravated due to the amount of heroin seized; Vincent J. Berube, 50, of Baileyville, was charged with class B unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (heroin); William E. Berube, 48, of Baileyville, was charged with class B unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (heroin); Daniel Lyons, 41, of Bangor was charged with class B unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (heroin); and Laura Lyons, 29, of Bangor was charged with class B unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (heroin). The Lyons are married, and the two Berubes are brothers.

'This investigation has disrupted a major drug trafficking group responsible for the distribution of a significant amount of heroin in Penobscot, Hancock and Washington counties,' said Roy McKinney, director of MDEA. 'It is yet another example of out of state drug trafficking organizations setting up shop in Maine communities. MDEA will continue to make these type of investigations a top priority.'

This investigation is continuing and more arrests are likely.

Anyone with information about drug trafficking in their community is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Maine Drug Enforcement task force office closest to them. You may also call the tip line at 1 (800) 452-6457.

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