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May 2, 2012

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New Hampshire man faces OUI charges

ORONO A New Hampshire man is facing charges after witnesses alerted police about an erratic driver.

Police received a call about a green mini van that had struck a curb and nearly struck another vehicle before leaving Orchard Trails apartment complex in the early morning of April 28. Officer Dan Merrill was responding when he saw a vehicle matching the description pull onto Mill Street and park.

He spoke with the driver, Christopher Lucia, 26, of Summersworth, NH, and determined he had been consuming alcohol. Merrill administered field sobriety tests and placed Lucia under arrest for operating under the influence. Lucia was taken to Penobscot County Jail and charged with OUI. He was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia when police found a glass marijuana pipe in the center console while conducting an inventory search of the vehicle.

No littering! 

AUGUSTA Two Hancock County men have been charged by Maine Forest Service Forest Rangers in connection with recent illegal dumping.

Daniel Smith, 25, of Ellsworth, has been summoned for allegedly dumping in excess of 15 pounds or 27 cubic feet of litter in Otis. Brad Inforati, 36, of Eddington, also has been summoned for allegedly littering in excess of 15 pounds on Camp Road No. 1 on Beech Hill Pond.

Both men are scheduled to appear in May in Ellsworth District Court. In addition to a minimum mandatory fine of $500, the defendants each face a sentence of 100 hours of community service and a requirement to pay for any cleanup of the dump site if convicted. The suspension of recreational and professional licenses also is a provision of Maine's recently revised litter law.

Maine Forest Service (MFS) Forest Rangers were notified earlier this month of an illegal dump site on the West Shore Road in Otis, according to MFS District Ranger Courtney Hammond. MFS Ranger John Cousins responded to the area and found a pile of household garbage and some old vehicle parts dumped on the side of the road. Hammond said that evidence found by Ranger Cousins in the pile led him to interview Smith.

While investigating the first case, Cousins was contacted by a passerby who alerted him to another site nearby on Camp Road No. 1 on Beech Hill Pond. When the forest ranger arrived at the site, he found a large pile of household trash which recently had been dumped. After looking through the pile, Cousins found a woman's name in the debris and began to investigate the person's whereabouts.

The forest ranger discovered that the woman, who was from Rhode Island, was recently deceased. He then tracked down her son, who told Cousins that the property found at the dump site had come from a house owned by the woman which had recently been sold by the family.

Cousins contacted the realtor for the property sale and found that Inforati had been hired to clean the property and that he had allegedly dumped the refuse. After receiving the summons, Inforati went to the site and cleaned it, Hammond said.

"These two cases represent two of the many illegal dumping cases that Maine Forest Service Forest Rangers handle," Hammond said. "We are pleased with the investigatory work and time put in by Ranger Cousins."

Investigation and enforcement of Maine's illegal dumping laws is one of the responsibilities of the MFS Forest Rangers. To report instances of illegal dumping, call the Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777.

Carmel woman arrested for probation violation

BREWER Driving into oncoming traffic is a good way to test out your probation conditions.

Cpl. Steve Boyd stopped a vehicle after it crossed the center line into his lane of travel on April 20 around 7:43 a.m. He spoke to the driver, Kara Cookson, 26, of Carmel, and learned that she was out on probation with conditions that included submitting search without probable cause. Boyd located a hypodermic needle and a spoon along with a white pill in Cookson's purse.

Her probation officer issued a probation hold on Cookson. She was taken to Penobscot County Jail and charged with possession of schedule Z drugs and sale and use of drug paraphernalia.

Mud in your eye

AUGUSTA Two northern Maine men were charged Wednesday by Maine Forest Service (MFS) Forest Rangers in connection with damage done to an ATV trail by their motor vehicles.

Ryan O'Neal, 29, of Fort Fairfield, and Kyle Sirois, 20, of Fort Kent, have each been charged with operating a passenger vehicle on an ATV trail, a Class E crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

MFS Forest Rangers, in addition, often ask for court-ordered restitution for the cost of repairing the damaged caused by this type of activity. Both men will appear in July Maine District Court in Fort Kent.

MFS Forest Ranger Craig Caron was on patrol Tuesday when he found truck tracks on an ATV trail in Township 17, Range 3, west of Van Buren, according to MFS Sgt. Lance Martin of the Portage office.

On further investigation, Caron discovered two pickup trucks that became stuck as they drove down the ATV trail. He interviewed the drivers and determined that they were out 'mudding,' or intentionally operating their vehicles on the trail. They had traveled about 150 yards on the trail before getting stuck.

The land on which Caron discovered the alleged 'mudders' is owned by Irving Woodlands Ltd., the state's largest landowner.

'The forest management staff at Irving was very concerned when I notified them about this issue, as there is a stream nearby and they did not want any siltation to enter the water,' Caron said. He later determined that no siltation had in fact reached the stream. Siltation can damage water sources and fish habitats.

Investigation of and enforcement regarding such incidents is part of the responsibility of the Maine Forest Service Forest Rangers. To report instances of mudding, call the Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777.


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