AG: Trooper, federal agent justified in fatal shooting

A state trooper and a U.S. Border Patrol agent were legally justified in the fatal shooting of an intoxicated man who leveled a rifle at them as they tried to arrest him after a domestic disturbance, the Maine Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.

Neil Begin, 55, was shot April 23 after he refused to drop his rifle and then pointed it at officers; he was shot a second time after he arose with the rifle still in his hands, according to a report by investigators. He did not fire the weapon.

Trooper Robert Flynn fired his handgun and Border Patrol Agent Robert Kipler fired a patrol rifle, hitting Begin five times in all before subduing him inside the home, the report said. Begin was taken to a Caribou hospital and then airlifted to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he died.


Slain man was N.Y. resident,city authorities confirm

Police have confirmed the identity of the man killed over the weekend at the Allen Avenue Apartments as Taquan Samuels, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

An autopsy determined that Samuels died when someone shot him once in the chest, police said.

Confirming Samuels’ identity took two full days after he was shot around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Police said they had to compare his fingerprints with those on file in New York.

Police are still trying to find the person responsible for the shooting and find out what Samuels was doing just before the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call 874-8533.


Man charged with stocking exotic fish in Maine pond

Game wardens have charged a 34-year-old Limestone man with illegally stocking a pond with an exotic South American fish.

Wardens charged Joe LaPierre with introducing a pacu, a grey omnivorous fish the size of a dinner plate and weighing 7 pounds, into a private pond above Limestone Stream.

The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department said exotic species can introduce diseases for which native species have no defenses. They also can drive out native species.

Wardens charged LaPierre with illegally stocking waters and possessing a restricted species, both class E crimes punishable by fines of at least $1,000 and not more than $10,000, according to a department press release.

A Limestone town worker spotted the fish in a culvert that had a screen at one end to keep out beavers.


Police seize 11 pot plants, charge man with trafficking

A 37-year-old Edgecomb man was arrested last week on charges that he was growing marijuana at his home on Old County Road.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Murphy said deputies and agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency searched the home of John Main. A warrant was issued as part of an ongoing investigation.

Seized during the search were 11 marijuana plants, more than 2 pounds of processed marijuana, a set of scales and two rifles, police said. The marijuana’s street value was about $5,000.

Main was charged with unlawful trafficking in marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon. He has been freed on $1,500 unsecured bail.

Police officers also found 45 large marijuana plants growing behind the home of Fred Nelson, 55, also of Old County Road in Edgecomb. Those plants were seized. Nelson was summonsed for marijuana cultivation.


Fire at old church an arson, investigators conclude

A Tuesday afternoon fire at a former Methodist church on Bodwell Street is arson, investigators said.

Sanford Fire Capt. Gary Cushing said the fire at 19 Bodwell St. was set on the first floor of the church rectory. It spread to the second and third floors. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from damaging the main church building.

A Sanford firefighter, whose name was not released, had to be taken to a local hospital after a section of the roof collapsed. He was treated and released.

Cushing said there was a suspicious fire in the church basement July 1. No arrests have been made.
Eight towns helped Sanford fight Tuesday’s fire.


Environmental officials forecast bad air for today

Ground-level ozone is expected to reach unhealthy levels along the coast from Kittery through Boothbay Harbor today, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Interior areas from Sanford through Bangor and the midcoast from Pemaquid through Acadia are expected to have moderate levels of ozone.

At high ozone levels, individuals may experience reduced lung function and irritation. Affected individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation or an uncomfortable sensation in their chest. Individuals with asthma and other respiratory diseases are particularly susceptible.

Permit clears way for CMP to start power grid update

 Central Maine Power said Tuesday it will start work on its $1.4 billion power grid upgrade in a matter of weeks now that it has gotten the final federal approval.

CMP, the state’s largest electric utility, said it has received the final permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for the project. It includes five new power substations and 450 miles of new or rebuilt transmission lines.

A new 345,000-volt transmission line from Orrington to Eliot will double the capacity of Maine’s power grid.

Work will begin in August, a few months later than planned, with surveying work to be followed by tree clearing, CMP spokesman John Carroll said Tuesday.

Sara Burns, CMP president, said the state’s economy will get a boost, with construction work sustaining 2,000 jobs over the five-year project.


Couple face heroin charges after police execute warrant

A Wiscasset couple faces trafficking charges after investigators found evidence they were dealing heroin and prescription painkillers, police said.

Police charged Brandon Nelson, 25, with aggravated trafficking in heroin and Elise Cowing, 18, with trafficking in heroin, said James Pease, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency supervisor.

MDEA officers and Wiscasset, Lincoln County and state police executed a search warrant at the couple’s Route 27 apartment Friday. They found heroin, OxyContin and a scale.

Nelson also had OxyContin with him when he was arrested at Round Pond at his job as a house painter.
Both are free on bail from Two Bridges Jail pending a September court date.


Man allegedly forces ex-wife to swallow his wedding ring

Police have charged Darryl Alan Roberts, 44, of Fairfield with domestic violence, saying he forced his ex-wife to swallow his wedding ring.

Police say he joined his former wife and another woman for drinks June 23, but they left him at the Bangor pub after he became angry.

Police told the Kennebec Journal that Roberts called his ex-wife 16 times, then showed up at her home, kicking in the door, punching her, threatening to kill her and making her swallow his wedding ring.

Roberts, who faces a probation violation, is being held without bail. He’s charged with aggravated criminal trespassing, domestic violence assault and domestic violence terrorizing. A jail official couldn’t say Tuesday whether he had a lawyer.

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