Police charge sex offender detected during drug sweep

One of the people swept up in the Old Orchard Beach drug crackdown announced Monday was a child sex offender who police say had watched another couple’s children.

Police said a couple had asked Michael Amico, 41, of Scarborough, to watch their two young children while they ran errands, not realizing Amico was a registered sex offender.

Amico is a lifetime registrant on the sex offender registry after being convicted of gross sexual assault on a person under 14 and three counts of gross sexual assault on a person under 18, all in York County.

Police did not want to disrupt their undercover investigation so they notified someone else, who told the parents.

On Monday, police said 46 people were arrested over a period of four months in 12 separate drug investigations.

Amico was charged with prohibited contact with a minor and failing to register with the sex offender act because he had changed where he worked without notifying authorities, police said.

The parents of the children Amico supervised were among those people who were charged with drug offenses, and the Department of Health and Human Services has intervened, police said.

Murder solicitation suspect allowed to see her children

A mother of 13 from Brownville who is charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband will be allowed to see her minor children.

Wendy Farley, 46, appeared in a Dover-Foxcroft courtroom Tuesday and asked a judge to have her bail conditions changed to allow contact with her children under age 18. WABI-TV reported that the judge agreed to the visits, but said they have to be supervised by four of her adult children.

Farley was charged last month with criminal solicitation of murder. Police said she offered a friend between $3,000 and $10,000 to have her husband of 30 years killed. According to a police affidavit, she wanted her husband killed in a sham hunting accident to escape what she called her religious husband’s strictness.


Police say man terrorized woman, children with gun

Police said they arrested a New Portland man Tuesday morning after he threatened a woman and three children with a gun and caused a six-hour standoff.

Randy Grover Jr., 30, reportedly had a rifle and threatened police, said Detective Lt. Carl Gottardi of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

The Maine State Police Tactical Team used an armored vehicle to take the woman and children to safety from the home where the ordeal began just before 3 a.m. Grover fled the home and later was found on a nearby railroad bridge that crosses the Carrabassett River between state Route 16 and Union Street.

Grover had a loaded firearm clip, but by late Tuesday police had not found a weapon, Gottardi said.

Grover is charged with domestic violence terrorizing, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He was held without bail Tuesday because of previous convictions.


Council prepares to schedule District 1 seat special election

A special election has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 4 to elect a replacement for former District 1 Town Councilor Sara Gideon, if the Town Council agrees on the date.

Gideon said she resigned Oct. 6 because she and her family moved to District 3. Gideon has a year left in her three-year term.

Before moving, Gideon, who’s running for the House District 106 seat in the Legislature, had planned to serve in the District 1 council seat at least through the November election, and possibly through town budget season.

State and local laws would have allowed her to do double duty, Gideon said, but she didn’t know if she could do both and serve her constituents well.

If elected to the House seat, Gideon would represent residents of Freeport and part of Pownal.


Bath salts abuse by parents puts 200 kids in foster care

Child welfare officials say an additional 200 children have been placed in foster care or with relatives in the past year because their parents are illegally abusing the synthetic drug known as bath salts.

The state has transferred $1 million to the Office of Child and Family Services from unspent funds so it can afford room and board payments for those children. An additional $4.2 million will be needed to cover expenses for children through June 30, 2015.

Agency director Therese Cahill-Low told the Bangor Daily News that the state was “blindsided” by a surge in bath salts abuse late last year.

Bath salts can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed and can cause hallucinations, convulsions, and psychotic episodes.

Suspect pleads no contest to assaulting a 4-year-old

An Augusta man has pleaded no contest to assaulting a 4-year-old girl he was supposed to be caring for, leaving her with a black eye and marks on her neck.

Brent Ryan Lavallee also pleaded no contest Monday to violating conditions of release and was sentenced by a judge in Kennebec County Superior Court to six months in jail.

Prosecutors say Lavallee, 28, admitted throwing the girl into a bunk bed, where she hit her head.

The police report says Lavallee was taking care of the girl for the child’s mother in late August when he struck her.

He was arrested after the girl’s grandfather noticed the injuries and alerted police.


Council votes 5-1 to endorse same-sex marriage question

South Portland is joining other major Maine cities that have endorsed “yes” votes for the gay marriage question on the Nov. 6 ballot.

With its vote Monday night, South Portland joined neighboring Portland and Bangor, whose councils have gone on record in support of the proposal to allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license in Maine.

South Portland council passed the endorsement resolution by a 5-1 vote.