AUBURN — A Mechanic Falls man stole the identify of a fellow electrical worker in 2016, then used that man’s identity for more than a year, including in court, where he was convicted of drunken driving.

Michael Rocko, 48, posed as Terrence Rivers of North Carolina when he was pulled over in Auburn at 2 a.m. on Nov. 5, 2016. He said he was Rivers when he took a blood/alcohol test that showed his content was 0.12%, above the legal limit of 0.08%.

Michael Rocko of Mechanic Falls appears Wednesday via videoconference in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. Chris Williams/Sun Journal screenshot

Rocko hired an attorney and went to court on the charge, still assuming the identity of his fellow electrician. He pleaded guilty to the charge, but was allowed to return to court a year later to plead guilty — again as Terrence Rivers — and was sentenced on a lesser charge of driving to endanger.

Meanwhile, the real Terrence Rivers had been having trouble with the motor vehicle department in his home state and was experiencing credit problems.

In 2019, he contacted the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office to say he had lost his wallet when he had been working in Maine.

He said he was not the person who was convicted of operating under the influence in Lewiston District Court.

“He told my office that he suspected Michael Rocko may have falsely used his identification,” Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador said Wednesday.

The two men had been hired by the same company that had worked in the Lewiston area doing electrical work for various businesses, she said.

Her office sent the booking photo of Rocko to a human resources worker for that company who identified the man in the mug shot as Rocko, not Rivers.

Mador’s office asked the Androscoggin County Jail to send the fingerprints of the person who was booked on the drunken-driving charge in 2016 to the FBI for identification. The federal agency said those prints belonged not to Rivers, but to Rocko, who had had convictions in other states.

Rocko pleaded guilty Wednesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court to three counts of aggravated forgery a Class B felony, each charge punishable by up to 10 years.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison, with all of that time suspended except for 60 days on each of the felonies, which will be served at the same time.

His jail time was divided into two 30-day increments. He’ll serve his first monthlong sentence in July, then an additional monthlong period in July 2022.

He was fined a total of $3,500 for the forgery charges.

Rocko pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of operating under the influence for which he was fined $500 and his driver’s license was suspended for a total of 210 days.

He was put on probation for three years, during which time he may not have alcohol, illegal drugs of marijuana (without a medical card). He can be searched and tested for those things and must be evaluated for substance abuse.

He is barred from having any contact with Terrence Rivers.

For the first nine months of his probation, he will be under house arrest, but may leave for work.

He must be employed for the three years of his probation, Justice Valerie Stanfill said.

When he is able to drive, his vehicle must be equipped with a mechanism that will lock the ignition if alcohol is detected on his breath.

Rocko’s attorney, Verne Paradie, said after the hearing: “Mr. Rocko has a young family and a great job.  He is a productive member of society and this is an unfortunate incident, for which he has accepted full responsibility. The plea agreement will allow him to keep his employment and minimize the economic impact on his family.”

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