Tattooing two teens among charges against man, 35

A 35-year-old man was charged Thursday with illegally tattooing two 14-year-old girls.

Joshua Grant was charged after police searched The Downeaster Motel at 184 Route 1, where he allegedly tattooed the two teenagers. Grant lived at the hotel, which rents rooms by the week, according to police.

Grant was charged with tattooing a minor, tattooing without a license, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful sexual contact and assault.

It is illegal to tattoo anyone younger than 18 in Maine, and all tattoo artists must be licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Grant was not licensed to give tattoos, according to Scarborough police.

Detective Don Blatchford said police found out about the tattoos after being notified by a school guidance counselor in the town where the girls live. He declined to identify the school or town.

Grant is expected to appear in court on May 29. He was not arrested because all the charges against him are misdemeanors, Blatchford said.

Blatchford said Grant is on federal probation after being convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone who had similar contact with Grant to call 883-6361.


Bill to legalize marijuana attracts 35 co-sponsors

Thirty-five legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of a bill calling for the legalization of marijuana in Maine.

Rep. Diane Russell is sponsoring a bill that proposes legalizing the personal use and cultivation of marijuana for adults while allowing the state to license and tax the drug.

The bill now has 35 co-sponsors, including 32 representatives and three state senators.

The bill was referred this week to the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.


Police say speed, alcohol likely factors in fatal crash

Police say speed and alcohol were likely factors in a fatal traffic crash in North Haven.

Police say Evan Hopkins, 20, of North Haven lost control of his pickup truck on South Shore Road just after 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The truck went off the road, struck multiple fence posts and rolled over, coming to rest upright.

WABI-TV reported that Hopkins was pronounced dead at the scene. No other vehicles were involved. The crash remains under investigation.


Waterville man pleads guilty to drug trafficking charges

A Waterville man described by authorities as a key figure in a drug trafficking ring in central Maine has pleaded guilty to federal charges of distributing prescription drugs and cocaine.

Maurice McCray pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Bangor to distributing oxycodone, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of more than 500 grams of a mixture containing cocaine.

McCray remains in custody and will be sentenced later. He faces at least 10 years in prison.

McCray, 31, was one of 10 people rounded up last March on federal drug charges.

Prosecutors say McCray distributed drugs throughout Kennebec and Somerset counties, setting up sales by phone. His lawyer refused comment.


Man hurt in motorcycle crash awarded $1.8 million

A jury has awarded nearly $1.8 million to a Sumner man who suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash in Porter in August 2010.

Benjamin Church had sued two other people involved in the crash for negligence, including the estate of his friend and fellow motorcycle rider, Patrick Cadigan. Cadigan died in the crash.

The Sun Journal reported that the Oxford County Superior Court jury on Wednesday found that Cadigan was negligent, but also found that the driver of another vehicle, Donald Burrell of Lebanon, N.H., was not negligent nor liable for damages.

Church, 54, sought $2.7 million in damages, including $480,000 to cover medical costs, his inability to work, loss of enjoyment of life and the pain and suffering he has endured and will endure.


Sex offender to serve time for ignoring registry rule

A man who was convicted of sexual abuse in Maine will serve 21 months in prison for failing to register as a sex offender when he moved to New Hampshire.

James Nelson Lund, 37, pleaded guilty in Maine in 2001 to sexual abuse of a minor.

He was sentenced in federal court in Concord this week to 21 months in prison for violating the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act, which requires him to register in any state.

Law enforcement officials were tipped last May that Lund and his wife were living in an apartment in Tilton. His wife told them he wasn’t home, but police said they later saw him driving a truck packed with his belongings.


Three states create medical team to respond to disasters

Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have formed a specialized disaster medical assistance team to respond to disasters in the region.

The 56-member team has expertise in emergency and wilderness medicine, toxicology, pharmacology, respiratory therapy, orthopedics and radiological protection, among other fields.

Dubbed NH-1, the team operates within the National Disaster Medical System and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.