January 16, 2013


From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)


Charged with drunk driving, father held on $10,000 bail

A Madison man charged with driving drunk with two children in his car has been ordered held on $10,000 bail.

James Labonte made his first appearance in court Monday on several charges in connection with his weekend arrest, including operating under the influence, eluding police and endangering the life of a child.

Police said they originally tried to stop Labonte for a traffic violation on Saturday afternoon, but he refused to pull over.

Instead, police said, he continued driving another mile and a half to his father’s house, then jumped out of his moving vehicle and fled on foot. The vehicle hit a building.

The children, ages 5 and 7, were unhurt and are in the custody of their mother.


Shipyard worker’s shock sparks workplace probe

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard says workplace safety officials are looking into an incident in which a worker received an electrical shock.

Shipyard spokeswoman Danna Eddy said the injured worker was expected to return to duty Tuesday.
She told the Portsmouth Herald that paramedics from the shipyard fire department responded around 9:30 p.m. Monday to the structural shop.

The victim was taken to a hospital as a precaution, and was later released.

Eddy said an investigation is under way.


Quebec man ordered back home for lying to buy guns

A Quebec man was sentenced to more than a year behind bars for lying to buy firearms in Augusta last year, authorities said.

Jeremy Gertsch, 35, of Oka, Quebec, was sentenced to nearly 16 months in prison Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. also sentenced Gertsch to three year of supervised release.

Gertsch pleaded guilty in September to making false statements in connection with the firearms purchase, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Malone in a release.

Gertsch rented a room at an Augusta hotel in January 2011 and then acquired a Maine driver’s license, listing the hotel’s address as his home. Gertsch used the license to buy eight handguns from four dealers in the Augusta and Waterville area, Malone said.

Six of the handguns were semiautomatic.

Gertsch took the guns to Boston’s South Station, where he bought a one-way ticket to Montreal.
Gertsch was indicted in September and arrested in Canada in early October. He was extradited back to the United States, where he has remained in custody.

Woodcock sentenced Gertsch to time served, just less than 16 months, and ordered him to return to Canada and not re-enter the country without permission from the U.S. Probation Office.


Teen faces terrorizing count for message on school wall

Police say a 13-year-old middle school student who scratched a threatening message onto a bathroom wall in southern Maine has been charged with terrorizing.

Police said the message left in a bathroom at Marshwood Middle School referred to people being killed on a specific date. The youth was charged Sunday night.

Eliot Chief Theodor Short told the Portsmouth Herald that he’s happy students came forward, and said the conduct shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Retired lawyer, 79, indicted for trying to wire fake funds

A retired lawyer from Skowhegan has been indicted on charges that he passed counterfeit money at a Western Union wire-transfer outlet in August.

Charles H. Veilleux, 79, faces a single count of aggravated forgery for allegedly attempting to wire fake money from the Hannaford supermarket at Fairgrounds Market Place in August, according to Skowhegan police.

He allegedly tried to pass a total of $1,100 at the Hannaford location and at another Western Union agent, at Kmart in Waterville, according to Skowhegan police.

The indictment covers only the Skowhegan case.

Veilleux faces a felony charge of aggravated forgery, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

His lawyer, Philip Mohlar of Skowhegan, said Veilleux is the victim of an international scam in which perpetrators send phony money with the promise of financial gain if the victim forwards money to a third party.

The scam usually involves a plea to help someone who has gotten into trouble in a foreign county and needs cash immediately.

Mohlar said Veilleux had no idea the money he sent was counterfeit: “It was counterfeit money that was sent to him; he thought he was wiring authentic bills.”

Skowhegan police Officer Timothy Williams, who handled the investigation, said Veilleux first tried to spend the money, then twice tried to wire money.

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