May 9, 2013

Maine/New England Dispatches


Portland man arrested on crack cocaine charges

A Portland man was being held in the York County Jail on Wednesday night on drug trafficking charges after his arrest Tuesday by undercover drug agents and local police.

Bail for Noor Ahmed Mohamed, 22, was set at $10,000 cash, according to jail officials.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said agents seized 32 grams of crack cocaine from a Saco home on Monday. That led them to Mohamed, who was seen Tuesday leaving a home in Biddeford with a black bag.

Mohamed fled when the officers approached him but was taken into custody following a brief foot chase. During the chase, he allegedly discarded a baggie containing five grams of crack cocaine.

Drug agents said they found three handguns in the black bag that included a semi-automatic weapon and two revolvers. Those handguns had been reported stolen earlier in the day from a home in Saco.

Mohamed has been charged with aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine.


Ex-bus driver gets 50 years for sex assaults on boys

A former bus driver in New Hampshire and Maine already sentenced to prison for sexually exploiting children has been sentenced to 50 years for sexually assaulting children on his bus.

John Allen Wright, who lived in Milton, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two young special needs boys in his care. Fosters Daily Democrat reported that he was sentenced on Monday.

In February, Wright was sentenced to 160 years for one count of possessing child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation after he was arrested in September 2011 and charged with filming child pornography on the bus using cameras hidden in glasses and pens.

Authorities started investigating after they say Wright, who had worked for Provider Bus Service since 2008, traded child pornography images on the Internet.


Bill opposed to ethanol gets initial OK in House

The Maine House has given initial approval to bills that would ban the sale of ethanol in Maine or limit its use to a 5 percent blend.

The bill's passage on Tuesday followed brief debates in which supporters said using corn-based ethanol is essentially putting food in fuel tanks. They also said ethanol damages small engines.

Opponents argued that restricting the sale of 10 percent ethanol fuel would put Maine out of compliance with the federal Clean Air Act.

The first bill, L.D. 115, prohibits the sale of fuel that contains corn-based ethanol if at least two other New England states pass a similar prohibition.

The second bill, L.D. 105, allows a distributor, blender or retail dealer to sell gasoline containing only 5 percent ethanol.

The bills face further House and Senate votes.

Active duty military may get break on fishing licenses

A bill in the Legislature is proposing that fishermen who are called to active duty not be required to pay any fees on their fishing licenses while they are serving.

Lobster fishermen and veterans are expected to speak in support of the proposed law when the Marine Resources Committee holds a public hearing Wednesday.

Under current law, fishermen who are members of the military and are called to active duty must pay fees to keep their licenses active while they are serving or risk forfeiting their licenses, even though they're not fishing.

The proposed law, L.D. 1488, would allow active-duty service members to maintain their licenses while serving without paying license fees so they can continue working as a lobsterman or other harvester once they return

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