November 20, 2012

Manhunt for ex-Maine prosecutor continues

U.S. Marshals Service searches escaped child pornography convict James Cameron's home

From staff reports

Authorities are continuing to hunt today for Maine’s former top drug prosecutor, who cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled last week after learning his appeal of child pornography convictions had failed.

James Cameron

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Information wanted

Authorities asked that anyone with information about Cameron's whereabouts to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals Office in Portland at 780-3355 or call the U.S. Marshals Service Headquarters at 1-877-WANTED2.

Meanwhile, the state’s head drug official said today that he was not concerned about James Cameron using any information he may have had in his former job while he’s sought by authorities.

“Any information he had, he had whether he is on the run or not,” Roy McKinney, director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, said today. “If he does, and I don’t know if he does, (he could have) used it anytime he wanted.”

Cameron, 50, of Rome, formerly of Hallowell, is being hunted by the U.S. Marshals Service and law enforcement nationwide, authorities said Monday. The court-ordered electronic monitoring device was a condition of release pending Cameron’s appeal of an August 2010 conviction on 13 federal charges of transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography.

Marshals said Cameron fled early Thursday morning just hours after the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld seven of the 13 convictions against him and gave the government room to re-try Cameron on six overturned convictions.

Cameron had 15 years remaining of the original 16 year sentence.

Cameron was last seen in Hallowell driving a tan 1999 Audi A6, license plate 2333PL, according to marshals. That car, which he owns, is missing.

Deputy Dean Knightly, who oversees the District of Maine for the Marshals Service has said Cameron didn’t leave a note and there is no indication he has harmed himself. Marshals have not heard of Cameron contacting anyone since fleeing, Knightly said.

“We’re still working leads," Knightly said this morning. "We don't know where he is but we're following up on leads everywhere and anywhere."

Cameron had been free on $75,000 unsecured bail pending appeal of his conviction on federal child pornograhy charges. He was living in Rome, but a frequent visitor to Hallowell, where his ex-wife and children live.

The appeals court ruling last Wednesday changed nothing about Cameron's bail, according to Donald Clark, assistant U.S. attorney and one of the prosecutors in the case.

Clark said today the appeal case is continuing, with prosecutor’s office receiving an extension to Dec. 28 to file a petition seeking a review by the full court.

He acknowledged, however, that Cameron’s disappearance is a concern.

“Right now the only problem is he is accused of violating bail,” Clark said. “The first order of business is to locate Mr. Cameron. The U.S. Marshal’s Service is hard at work at that.”

This story will be updated.

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