Courts and Crime

BANGOR, Maine — For crowded county jails in Maine, any program that can safely and cost-effectively reduce the number of inmates is worth a look. At the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor, certain offenders who have a hard time paying their fines are being given an option to do community service work instead.

OXFORD, Maine - Authorities say a Maine drug abuse counselor is among 15 people who were arrested this week on heroin trafficking charges.

The Sun Journal reports that 54-year-old Gregory Ford of Scarborough was arrested Tuesday after an Oxford County grand jury indicted him and several others on the charges.

Authorities say Ford was arrested in his office at Supervised Community Treatment in Portland. He did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

SOUTH PARIS, Maine — Law enforcement officials have arrested 14 people in connection with a heroin trafficking ring in Oxford County.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's Speaker of the House plans to amend his lawsuit against Republican Gov. Paul LePage that accuses the governor of breaking federal law by blocking his hiring by a school.

Mark Eves, a Democrat, filed the civil lawsuit against LePage earlier this year. Attorney David Webbert says he'll follow through on plans to amend the complaint on Friday. The amended complaint will accuse LePage of also violating state law by blocking Eves's hiring by Good Will-Hinckley, which operates a charter school.

WATERVILLE, Maine — The former principal of a Maine high school accused of asking an 18-year-old student for sex on the first day of school will not appeal his termination.

The Morning Sentinel reports 44-year-old Don Reiter will not contest the Waterville Board of Education's Nov. 16 decision to remove him as principal of Waterville Senior High School.

Reiter's attorney confirmed the decision on Wednesday. School Board Chairwoman Sara Sylvester says she is pleased and relieved Reiter will not appeal.

A federal judge has delivered a closely watched decision in a lawsuit defining the boundaries of the Penobscot Indian Reservation and the tribe's sustenance fishing rights on the river's main stem.

WATERVILLE, Maine — Following publicity around allegations involving a Waterville High School principal accused of asking a student for sex, a Republican state lawmaker is hoping to submit a bill he says will strengthen penalties in such cases.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Lawyers filed papers in U.S. District Court in Florida today on behalf of two local crew members of the cargo ship El Faro.

Dylan Meklin, 23, and Danielle Randolph, 34, both of Rockland, were killed in October when the El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin.

The filing of opposition, in federal court in Florida, comes in response to an earlier lawsuit filed by Tote Maritime, the El Faro's owner.

Elizabeth Noble

Editor's note: This story is part one of a two-part series. To read part two, click here.

WARREN, Maine — Sometime this month the Maine Department of Corrections is expected to finalize proposed new disciplinary rules for the Maine State Prison, governing everything from prisoner communication with the outside world to hygiene, contraband and safety threats.

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland Police have arrested a 64-year-old man they say planted a suspicious package outside an office complex where a law firm and several federal justice offices are located.

George A. Dimauro of Portland was taken into custody Tuesday night. "Some of the facts and information that led us to him are still under investigation," says Portland Police Department Lt. James Sweatt.

BANGOR, Maine - Police officials confirmed that the Swan's Island man fatally shot by an officer during a foot chase in Bangor earlier this week had exchanged fire with the officer before his death.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Bangor Police Chief Mark Hathaway issued a statement Thursday that said Joshua Jozefowicz had a loaded gun during the incident on Dec. 1.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine judge will make a decision about the state's request that a man accused of killing his father be involuntarily medicated to restore his competency to stand trial.

The request was the subject of a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta on Wednesday. Prosecutors want Leroy Smith III to take medication in hopes he can become competent to stand trial.

PORTLAND, Maine — City police are creating a new program to help heroin addicts break the cycle of addiction.

Wednesday afternoon, Portland Police Department's chief and the city mayor announced that they will hire a substance abuse liaison who will work within the police department to identify addicts and help them get the help they need.

Chief Michael Sauschuk says the liaison will not be funded by state or federal funds, but rather by asset forfeiture money seized from drug dealers in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's highest court says the estate of a man killed in a Portland punching incident isn't entitled to money from the puncher's family's insurance policy.

Eric Benson's estate sued William Googins after Googins punched Benson in the face, causing Benson to fall, hit his head on the bricks of Monument Square and die. Googins pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served about two years of a 10-year prison sentence for the 2010 incident.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine judge is considering a request that a man accused of killing his father be involuntarily medicated to restore his competency to stand trial.

The request is the subject of a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta on Wednesday. Prosecutors want Leroy Smith III to take medication in hopes he can become competent to stand trial.

Smith, of Gardiner, is charged in the 2014 killing of Leroy Smith Jr. inside an apartment they shared. Smith was declared incompetent to stand trial after he was diagnosed with acute delusional thinking.

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