Author: Edward Tomic

Edward Tomic is a reporter for The Maine Wire based in Southern Maine. He grew up near Boston, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Boston University. He can be reached at tomic@themainewire.com

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Wednesday that she has introduced legislation that would establish a minimum hourly wage for Maine agricultural workers. [RELATED: California Raised the Minimum Wage for Fast-Food Workers to $20 An Hour — So Chipotle and McDonald’s Are Hiking Prices…] The governor’s bill, LD 2273, was presented by House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland), and cosponsored by the co-chairs of the Legislature’s Committee on Labor and Housing, Sen. Mike Tipping (D-Penobscot) and Rep. Amy Roeder (D-Bangor). The legislation comes after Gov. Mills “reluctantly” vetoed a bill from the first session of the 131st Legislature in July 2023…

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Two men from the New York City metro area were charged Wednesday with burglarizing two Maine post offices and robbing two U.S. Postal Service (USPS) letter carriers at knife point. A federal grand jury charged Winston McLeod, 30, of Orange, N.J., and Lance Funderburk, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y. in a five count indictment Wednesday, charging each with two robberies, two burglaries, and conspiracy. According to the indictment, during a week-long period in January 2024, McLeod and Funderburk allegedly broke into the Paris and North Monmouth post offices, stealing money order printers, mail, computers, P.O. box keys, and other items. The…

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Amid a push for stricter gun control legislation, Democratic lawmakers on the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee had a closed-door meeting Wednesday with a top official from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), prompting indignation among Republicans and gun rights advocates over the lack of transparency. [RELATED: Left-Wing Activists Leverage Lewiston Tragedy to Push Expansive Gun Control…] The Wednesday informational session was held between Democrats and James Vann, the deputy assistant director of enforcement programs and services for the ATF. An ATF representative was initially supposed to join the Judiciary Committee for a pubic meeting, though that…

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A Westbrook man was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday for sexually abusing a child for the purpose of creating child sexual abuse material. Rayevon Deschambault, 28, was sentenced to 216 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, following his conviction on two counts of sexually exploiting a child in a two-day jury trial in Portland in January 2023. Deschambault also received a concurrent 27-month sentence on an unrelated charge of distributing cocaine base, after selling the drug to a confidential informant in August 2019. According to court records, in August 2019, Deschambault sexually abused a 14-year-old…

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A Brazilian illegal immigrant who fled to the U.S. after breaking out of prison in his own country for an armed robbery conviction has been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Boston. [RELATED: From Texas to Maine, Biden’s Lawless Border Fuels Illegal Alien Crime Wave…] Deportation officers from ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston apprehended the 23-year-old unlawfully present Brazilian fugitive on Thursday, March 14, near his residence in Everett, Mass. ICE said the Brazilian national was in possession of fraudulent identification documents at the time of his arrest. According to ICE, the Brazilian fugitive…

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Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey announced Tuesday that he has filed a civil rights complaint against a Harpswell father and son for allegedly vandalizing numerous road signs and roadways with racist and antisemitic messages. William Deary, 49, and Hayden Deary, 18, are accused of spray-painting antisemitic and racist symbols and phrases in Harpswell, Brunswick, Bath, and Topsham on or about Jan. 7, 2024. Frey’s complaint alleges that the father and son spray-painted the phrase “Gas Jews” on a Harpswell intersection and on pillars supporting an Route 1 overpass in Bath. Other alleged vandalism by the Drearys, according to the complaint,…

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A 21-year-old Bangor woman is facing multiple felony drug trafficking charges after a two-month Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) led to the seizure of large amounts of illegal drugs, cash, and firearms from a residence, the agency said Wednesday. [RELATED: California Man Accused of Running Massive Drug Trafficking Operation Out of Caribou Home…] According to the MDEA, an investigation was recently opened by the agency’s North Central Task Force into suspected drug trafficking occurring at 166 Larkin St. in Bangor. During their investigation, MDEA agents conducted controlled purchases of fentanyl and cocaine base from 21-year-old Jade Willette of Bangor, the…

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Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) has introduced a bill that would establish a state “social equity program” and advisory board to push affirmative action business development initiatives for disproportionately incarcerated populations. [RELATED: Rachel Talbot Ross Wants to Give Money to Criminals and “Disinvested” Communities to Help Them Start Cannabis Businesses…] The bill, LD 1517, was first introduced by the House Speaker during the first legislative session in July 2023, and was originally entitled “An Act to Create Equity in the State’s Cannabis Industry.” The first iteration of the bill would have established a “cannabis business equity program” to…

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The Maine Democratic Socialists of America (Maine DSA) and the Maine Direct Action Solidarity Fund has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise bail money for their “comrades” who may be arrested during future pro-Palestine protests. According to a post shared to Maine DSA’s Instagram page, the crowdfunding campaign is “to raise bail funds for an upcoming action,” with the goal of raising a total of $2,723. [RELATED: Pro-Palestine Protestors Block Road Outside Bath Iron Works, Demand Shipyard Stop Arming “Imperialist Genocide”…] The “upcoming action,” which presumably would involve illegal conduct based on the need to raise bail funds, is not specified…

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U.S. Senator from Maine Angus King (I) has joined a group of his Democrat colleagues in sponsoring the “Right to Vote Act,” a bill that would place significant restrictions on states looking to implement stricter voter ID laws. [RELATED: Maine Dems Unanimously Reject Voter ID…] The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), would articulate a “fundamental right to vote” in federal elections for all U.S. citizens of legal voting age, and would prohibit any government action that “diminish[es] the ability to vote,” except for when that action is the “least restrictive means of significantly furthering an important,…

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A billionaire Chinese national pleaded guilty Monday to a straw-donor campaign contribution scheme by which he made more than $10,000 in illegal donations to New York City and congressional candidates in the names of others. Hui Qin, 56, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), was once listed on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires and ran the now-defunct film and entertainment company SMI Culture based in Hong Kong. Qin pleaded guilty Monday to charges of making political contributions in the names of others, immigration fraud and producing a false identification document. The Chinese magnate has been incarcerated since…

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A Lewiston man is facing up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to sending racist death threats to a black family living in his apartment complex, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine. Charles Allen Barnes, 46, of Lewiston, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of threatening communications in interstate commerce. In court documents, prosecutors accused Barnes of using Facebook Messenger to record and transmit a “racial-slur-laden” voice message in which he threatened “in graphic and violent terms” to kill his neighbor. Prosecutors said Barnes made repeated derogatory references to the neighbor’s race, and…

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The Biden administration released a map Friday of a two million acre Wind Energy Area (WEA) in the Gulf of Maine that is designated for future offshore wind projects. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, said Friday that the finalized map represents a 43 percent reduction from its drafted area, and has the capacity to support 32 gigawatts of offshore wind energy — far exceeding Maine’s current offshore wind energy goal of 3 gigawatts. [RELATED: Another Offshore Wind Project Scuttled as Maine Charges Forward with Mills’ “Roadmap”…] Notably, the finalized…

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The City of Portland has posted job advertisements for two new full-time case manager positions in their migrant Resettlement Program, who will aid newly arrived migrants in the city by connecting them with taxpayer-funded resources. The job postings come after Portland was provided a $364,000 grant from the Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) in February in order to extend their migrant Resettlement Program for 12 months. [RELATED: MaineHousing Grants Portland $364,000 to Extend City’s Migrant Resettlement Program For 12 Months…] Since January 2020, Portland has resettled an estimated 4,200 migrants through their resettlement program. According to the job postings, the…

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A Portland man is facing 12 criminal charges after leading police on a 20-minute chase Sunday afternoon. Portland Police said that at 2:17 p.m. on Sunday an officer observed a woman waving frantically for help out of the passenger side window of a vehicle on Forest Avenue. When the officer attempted to make a traffic stop, the vehicle continued on, leading to a 20-minute chase through Deering, downtown Portland, and eventually northbound on I-295, police said. According to Portland Police, several officers pursued the car and observed the female passenger open the passenger door of the moving vehicle. Police said…

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The Independent Commission tasked by Maine Gov. Janet Mills with investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the Oct. 25, 2023 Lewiston shootings has released an Initial Interim Report covering the missed opportunities by law enforcement to follow Maine’s “Yellow Flag” law procedure. Since November 2023, the Independent Commission has conducted seven public meetings, featuring testimony from the Maine State Police, U.S. Army officials, family members of victims, and the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office. [RELATED: Lewiston Shooter Robert Card’s Army Reserve Unit Was Filled with Cops…] Friday’s 30-page report is focused primarily on given an account of the actions of local law…

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A Bangor man who was found with drug paraphernalia and a firearm during a traffic stop pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute them. Andrew Blais, 37, of Bangor, was arrested by Bangor Police in October 2023 after police identified an active warrant out for his arrest during a traffic stop. According to court records, officers observed drug paraphernalia in open view inside Blais’ vehicle, and recovered bundles of cash and a loaded handgun from his person.…

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Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01) has been a staunch supporter of sending U.S. aid to Ukraine aid in their effort to repel the Russian invasion that began in February 2022 — so why did she remove the Ukrainian flag from her X profile? [RELATED: Chellie Pingree’s Wealth Has Surged as Member of Congress…] In March 2022, just a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” into Ukraine, Rep. Pingree joined a bipartisan congressional delegation on a trip to Eastern European countries in a gesture of support to Ukraine “in their fight against autocracy.” Screenshot of Rep.…

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A Portland High School student brought a BB gun to school Thursday morning, prompting a response from police, according to the Portland Police Department. Portland Police spokesperson Brad Nadeau confirmed that on the morning of Thursday, March 14, police responded to Portland High School for a report of a student with a gun. Nadeau said that the student was in possession of a BB gun — a type of air gun that shoots metallic spherical projectiles similar to bearing balls. Nadeau did not provide any additional details regarding the incident. Portland High School Sheila Jepson sent a letter to school…

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A Haitian migrant living in a hotel being used as an emergency shelter in Rockland, Massachusetts is being held without bail on a child rape charge after being accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. [RELATED: DeSantis Deploys National Guard to Stop Potential Haitian Migrant Arrivals as Gang Leaders Seize Island Nation…] Cory B. Alvarez, 26, of Haiti, was arrested Wednesday night after the 15-year-old girl, who also lived at the Comfort Inn in Rockland, told police Alvarez raped her, according to a police report. Alvarez is being held without bail pending the outcome of a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Friday,…

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A California man has pleaded guilty to charges related to his role in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy in Downeast Maine. [RELATED: California Man Accused of Running Massive Drug Trafficking Operation Out of Caribou Home…] Alex Hanna, 30, of California, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. In court documents, prosecutors alleged Hanna coordinated shipments of methamphetamine from a source in California to multiple individuals who distributed it in Downeast Maine between May 2022 and March 2023. Hanna would ship methamphetine to willing participants in the trafficking conspiracy via USPS, or would…

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A California man is facing multiple felony drug trafficking charges after a months-long investigation and sting operation led to the seizure of large amounts of illegal drugs from a residence in Caribou, the Maine Department of Public Safety announced Thursday. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) Aroostook County Task Force recently launched an investigation into a suspected drug trafficking operation occurring at a residence at 21 Fontaine Dr. in Caribou, the agency said. During their investigation, MDEA agents conducted a controlled purchase of fentanyl from 40-year-old Jose Verdugo of Monrovia, California. A controlled purchase, or controlled buy, is when a…

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A group of residents in a crime-ridden San Francisco neighborhood have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city of not doing enough to combat open-air drug markets and large homeless encampments, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of a group of residents and businesses in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, does not seek monetary damages. Instead, the plaintiffs are seeking court orders requiring the city to end flagrant drug dealing and use in the neighborhood, according to the Chronicle. [RELATED: Maine ACLU Says Failed Proposal to Legalize Portland Homeless Encampments with Frequent Overdoses, Assaults, and…

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) sent a letter Wednesday requesting that congressional appropriations leaders not include a pay raise for members of Congress in fiscal year 2024 (FY24). [RELATED: Golden Votes to Condemn Biden’s Border Policies, Urge Reining in Taxpayer-Funded Benefits for Illegal Aliens…] Golden’s letter comes as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are negotiating finalization of the FY24 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, and whether or not to include language blocking a member cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The COLA provision would give most Capitol Hill lawmakers a 4.6 percent raise, or an $8,000 increase, on top of their standard…

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A Bangor man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was caught by police in possession of multiple illegal drugs and a firearm while out on bail. Allen Henry, 49, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District court in Bangor to 168 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Henry previously pleaded guilty on May 23, 2023. According to court documents, in May 2022, Brewer Police responded to a call for service and located Henry in a…

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The Sanford Police Department are calling on the public to carry Narcan — an opioid overdose reversal drug — and take safety precautions after responding to three overdoses within 24 hours. [RELATED: Sanford Suspends Syringe Exchange Program, Cleans Homeless Encampment…] Sanford Police said Thursday that they responded to three overdoses in a 24-hour period between Monday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 12. Police said there have also been five non-fatal overdoses in Sanford within the past 30 days. “We urge people to take safety precautions if and when they are using substances,” Sanford Police said in a Thursday announcement. “Please…

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U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a letter to Biden administration officials Tuesday calling for additional steps to be taken against Russia in order to prevent Vladimir Putin from funding its war effort against Ukraine by selling its stockpile of gold. According to the Senators, Russia has been bypassing western sanctions by selling off its $151 billion gold reserves on foreign markets in exchange for cash. [RELATED: Angus King Introduces Legislation That Would Ban Energy Exports to China, Russia, Other Foreign Adversaries…] “Initial sanctions from the U.S. and foreign partners have caused Russia to shift—but not…

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Lewiston Police announced Wednesday that an arrest has been made in connection to a robbery of a local convenience store. Police say they were dispatched to the store on Tuesday, March 12 at approximately 6:30 p.m. for a report of a robbery. After reviewing surveillance footage, speaking to witnesses, and gathering evidence, Lewiston Police identified 25-year-old Ali Abdi Mohamed, of Lewiston, as the suspect. Police say they tracked Mohamed to an apartment in Lewiston where he attempted to flee but was subsequently apprehended. Mohamed was charged with robbery, violations of conditions of release, and outstanding warrants of domestic violence assault,…

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Democratic Maine Congressman Jared Golden (CD-2) voted in favor of a House Resolution Wednesday condemning the Biden administration’s immigration policies and calling for stricter border security measures. [RELATED: Golden Pitches Compromise Border Security and $66 Billion Foreign Aid Package on CBS’ Face the Nation…] The resolution, H. Res. 1065, passed by 226-193, with Golden one of 14 Democrats to vote with every Republican in favor of the resolution that accuses President Joe Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of creating “the worst border security crisis in the Nation’s history.” “The Biden administration’s open-borders policies have incentivized nearly 9,300,000 illegal…

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In order to preempt a potential influx of illegal immigration from Haiti as the island nation devolves into chaos and gang violence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has deployed the Florida National Guard and other state assets to the Keys and southern waters of the state for additional security. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced Monday that he would resign under pressure from armed gangs and looters that have violently seized control over most of the country’s capital city, Port-Au-Prince, and attacked prisons resulting in the freeing of thousands of criminals. A senior Pentagon official told the House Armed Services…

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Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey says he is “dismayed” at the condemnation of a proposed bill that would expand legal protections for sex-change procedures and late-term abortions by a group of 16 other state attorneys general. [RELATED: GOP AGs Threaten Maine Over “totalitarian” Child Sex-Change Bill…] In response to a letter sent Monday by the GOP attorneys general that condemned the bill, LD 227, as “constitutionally defective” and “unprecedented,” Attorney General Frey hit back with his own letter Tuesday, saying the “legal concerns raised by the letter are meritless.” Frey accused Tennessee Attorney General Skrmetti, who spearheaded the Monday letter,…

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Four California-based individuals have been sentenced in federal court in Boston for their roles in running a large-scale marriage fraud “agency” designed to help non-citizens bypass immigration laws. The Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office says the four defendants, all Philippine nationals residing in Los Angeles, arranged sham marriages between foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, and submitted fraudulent green card applications for over 600 noncitizen clients. According to court records, the agency charged their undocumented clients a fee of between $20,000 and $35,000 in cash for submitting false petitions, applications, and other documents to substantiate the sham marriages. Marcialito Biol Benitez, aka…

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An unlawfully present Nigerian national who was convicted of indecent solicitation of a Rhode Island child after overstaying a tourist visa has been arrested by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, the agency announced Monday. [RELATED: Biden Apologizes for Calling Illegal Alien Suspected of Murdering Nursing Student “an Illegal”…] According to ICE, deportation officers apprehended the 45-year-old Nigerian sex offender on Thursday, Feb. 15, in Rumford, Rhode Island. ICE said the Nigerian national entered the U.S. into New York City on a non-immigrant tourist visa in May 2017. He violated the terms of his tourist visa by remaining in…

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U.S. Senators from Maine Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I) are backing a bill that would require automakers to include AM broadcast radio service in their new vehicles at no additional charge. “AM Radio delivers highway safety information to drivers and critical storm and weather updates to farmers in Maine and across the country,” Sen. Collins said Monday. “This bipartisan bill would ensure the accessibility of AM service in every vehicle, safeguarding essential communication tools that are critical to our rural communities.” The bipartisan “AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act” came in response to an increasing number of automakers, including…

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Cumberland County District Attorney Jackie Sartoris joined Matt Gagnon on WGAN Morning News Monday to defend her recently adopted policy of encouraging law enforcement to issue civil instead than criminal summons for certain traffic violations, including operating without a license and with expired registration. [RELATED: George Soros-backed DA Takes Office in Cumberland County…] Sartoris told Gagnon that the new policy was adopted due to her office having trouble getting through a backlog of cases, making it difficult to prosecute more serious crimes. “Almost none of these cases [are] gonna go to trial when I have a trial backlog of assault, and…

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Later this month Maine Regional School Unit 22 (RSU 22) is set to consider various options for “restructuring” the district’s elementary and middle schools in line with the recommendations of its 2020-2021 “Equity Audit Report.” RSU 22 serves the towns of Hampden, Newburgh, Winterport and Frankfort, and approximately 2,270 students across seven schools — four elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The district’s “Equity Audit” reported that RSU 22 having multiple middle schools (Reeds Brook serving grades 6-8 in Hampden and Newburgh, Samuel L. Wagner serving grades 5-8 in Winterport and Frankfort) creates “structural, educational, and experiential…

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Portland Police announced Monday that over the past seven days they have seized a total of 37.7 grams of fentanyl from three separate arrests. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be considered a potentially lethal dose — meaning from March 5-11, Portland Police took nearly 20,000 potential fatal doses of fentanyl off the streets. [RELATED: Maine Reports Nearly 10,000 Drug Overdoses in 2023, 16 Percent Decrease in Fatal Overdoses from 2022…] Portland Police say the first of the three arrests was on Tuesday, March 5, shortly after 2 a.m. Police say they received…

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On Friday, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of a Brewer man who was a 10-year sex offender registrant on several child pornography charges. The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office said the arrest followed a long investigation conducted with the assistance of the Brewer Police Department and U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations. Aaron Astran, 31, of Brewer, was arrested on Thursday, March 7, and charged with three counts of possession of sexually explicit material with a minor under 12 years old and 1 count of criminal attempt. Astran was on the Maine Sex Offender Registry…

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Lewiston Police announced Sunday that a 14-year-old male has been charged in connection to a weekend shooting on Pierce Street. Police say they responded to the area of 101 Pierce St. at about 4:40 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, for a report of numerous shots fired. Upon arrival, police met with several witnesses and located spent shell casings in the area. According to police, a review of surveillance footage revealed the suspected shooter, who was later identified by police as a 14-year-old male. The juvenile suspect was located by police and charged with aggravated reckless conduct, a Class C offense.…

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Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, & Tribal Populations (PCRITP) has determined that no conflict of interest occurred when they granted $12,000 to the Commission Co-Chair and Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross’ (D-Portland) sister for a Black History Month Event. [RELATED: Corruption: Equity Panel Chief Dodges Questions Over $12k Grant to Maine House Speaker’s Sister…] The state racial equity board has come under scrutiny in recent weeks following a Maine Wire report that revealed PCRITP granted a Portland-based nonprofit co-founded by Regina Phillips, sister of Speaker Talbot Ross, $12,000 for their “Black History Month Community Wellness…

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Lewiston mass shooter Robert Card, who killed 18 people and injured more than a dozen others in two Oct. 25, 2023 shootings before dying by suicide at age 40, likely had a traumatic brain injury from his time serving as a hand grenade instructor with the U.S Army, according to his family. [RELATED: Lewiston Shooter Robert Card’s Army Reserve Unit Was Filled with Cops…] The family of Card released the findings of a brain tissue analysis on Wednesday through the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), in an effort to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries among military service members. The Maine…

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Leaked internal documents from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the leading global medical body behind developing “standards of care” for transgender treatments, show members improvising experimental treatments and consistently violating medical ethics and informed consent, according a report published Tuesday by the U.S.-based thinktank Environmental Progress. [RELATED: National Medical Association Concludes ‘Gender Affirming Care’ has ‘No demonstrable, long-term benefit’ to Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria…] The 242-page report analyzes hundreds of pages of internal posts and videos obtained by Environmental Progress founder and president Michael Shellenberger, and argues that WPATH, despite purporting to support “evidence-based” medical interventions, advocates…

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday that a Chinese National residing in California has been charged with four counts of theft of trade secrets in connection to an alleged plot to steal artificial intelligence (AI) technology from Google LLC (Google). [RELATED: Four Chinese Nationals Charged With Illegally Exporting U.S. Military Technology to Iran…] According to the indictment, Linwei Ding, aka Leon Ding, 38, of the People’s Republic of China, transferred Google trade secrets and other confidential information from Google’s network to his personal account while working at the company as a software engineer. Federal prosecutors allege that while Ding…

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Although incumbent President Joe Biden handily won Maine’s Democratic presidential primary election on Super Tuesday, he appears to have been opposed by a significant contingent of Portland voters protesting his administration’s handling of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. [RELATED: Anti-Israel Protesters Defend Hamas “Resistance” by Blockading Traffic in Maine’s Biggest City…] According to unofficial election results posted Wednesday morning by the City of Portland, 20 percent of Democratic primary ballots in Portland were recorded as “blank” — a total of 1,024 votes. The number of “blank” ballots cast in Portland far surpassed those cast for President Biden’s declared primary opponent U.S.…

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Maine Senator Angus King, a self-described independent who caucuses with Democrats, has introduced legislation that would ban energy exports, which King has called the United States’ “principal advantage in the world economy,” to foreign adversaries. Sen. King joined with three Senate Democrats to introduce the “Protecting American Households from Rising Energy Costs Act,” which would ban the export of crude oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. [RELATED: Angus King Denies Ukrainians Are Embezzling Any U.S. Tax Dollars, Claims Putin Will Invade Poland…] King, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,…

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Maine Public, a nonprofit news outlet funded in large part by taxpayer dollars, published a perfunctory article Tuesday covering the public hearing on the revamped transgender trafficking bill, LD 227, failing to mention the massive public turnout in opposition to the bill, and quoting only a Planned Parenthood spokesperson. [RELATED: Massive Turnout for Public Hearing on Last-Minute Bill Creating “Legal Right” to Abortion and “Gender-Affirming Care” in Maine…] Hundreds of activists showed up to the State House Tuesday afternoon to speak in opposition to LD 227, which would create new legal protections for abortions and so-called “gender-affirming health care,” including…

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Monday that deportation officers in Boston have removed an unlawfully present Brazilian national who is wanted in Brazil for extortion, and who was charged locally with strangulation and assault and battery. [RELATED: ICE Boston Deports Brazilian Fugitive Wanted for Child Rape Who Fled to US Under Tourist Visa…] ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston agents deported 31-year-old Raul Thalison De Oliveira-Silva from the U.S. to Brazil on Feb. 23. Local authorities had previously arrested De Oliveira-Silva in Brockton, Mass. on Nov. 21, 2023, on charged of strangulation and assault and battery. According…

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A traffic stop in Portland Sunday resulted in a pair of arrests on drug trafficking charges after police discovered fentanyl and other narcotics in the vehicle, Portland Police announced Monday. [RELATED: Maine Reports Nearly 10,000 Drug Overdoses in 2023, 16 Percent Decrease in Fatal Overdoses from 2022…] Police said they conducted a traffic stop on Pearl Street in Portland on Sunday, March 3, at about 12:30 a.m. According to police, during the stop it was discovered that one of the occupants of the vehicle had multiple warrants out for his arrest. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery…

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A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland to supplying a Biddeford couple with fentanyl to sell in southern Maine. [RELATED: Susan Collins Calls for Action to Address Migrant, Fentanyl Crises in Senate Floor Remarks…] Darwin Mateo, 24, of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute, and faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, followed by a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release. According to court records, law enforcement encountered Mateo while executing a search warrant at a Biddeford residence…

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When speaking about the issue of large numbers of migrants coming to Maine, Portland Mayor Mark Dion told Matt Gagnon on WGAN Morning News Monday that migrants come to the U.S. border with the address of the city’s homeless shelter already in their cell phones. [RELATED: “People see us as different”: Portland Officials Bemoan State Lawmakers’ Reluctance to Fund City’s Homeless Shelters and Welfare Programs…] Mayor Dion told Gagnon that Portland has seen a “whole different level of immigration” than in past decades, when immigrants would be met in the city by sponsoring families and were more readily assimilated. Dion…

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After the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that individual states do not have the authority to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on their ballots, Maine State Rep. John Andrews (R-Paris) is renewing his effort to open an impeachment inquiry into Secretary of State Shenna Bellows. All nine Justices — including liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson — agreed that states do not have the power to enforce the 14th Amendment’s “Insurrection Clause” against candidates for federal office. [RELATED: SCOTUS Unanimously Rules That States Cannot Disqualify Trump from the Ballot…] “After the SCOTUS…

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Three people were arrested on drug trafficking charges after police seized more than $5,600 worth of fentanyl during a search at a Rumford hotel, according to the Rumford Police Department. [RELATED: Maine Reports Nearly 10,000 Drug Overdoses in 2023, 16 Percent Decrease in Fatal Overdoses from 2022…] Rumford Police say officers responded to the Best Western Plus hotel on Prospect Avenue in Rumford on Thursday, Feb. 29, after receiving a tip about possible drug activity occurring in one of the hotel rooms. Upon arrival, police confirmed that three suspects with prior convictions along with another individual were sharing a room…

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Portland Police announced Sunday that they have arrested a suspect in relation to a homicide that occurred over the weekend in the area of Union Station Plaza. Just after 1 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, Portland Police responded to a report that a person had been shot in the area of 263 St. John Street. The victim was identified as 30-year-old Raoul Mapendo Tshiyuka of Portland, and was transported to the Maine Medical Center, where he later died, police said. An autopsy performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Tshiyuka died from a gunshot wound, and…

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U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Friday that a Brazilian national who fled to the U.S. under a tourist visa to avoid serving a prison sentence for child rape was deported back to Brazil in late January. [RELATED: Guatemalan Illegal Alien Convicted of Sexually Assaulting a Child Arrested by ICE After Being Released by MA Court…] ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston had previously arrested the Brazilian fugitive, 62-year-old Edimir Gustavo Eckelberg, in Tewksbury, Mass. on Nov. 28, 2023. Eckelberg had fled from Brazil to New York under a tourist immigration visa in April 2023, following his conviction…

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Friday that the agency successfully stopped an estimated 561,000 fentanyl pills worth more than $11 million from being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. [RELATED: Susan Collins Calls for Action to Address Migrant, Fentanyl Crises in Senate Floor Remarks…] According to CBP, on Sunday, Feb. 25 at approximately 8:20 p.m. a CBP K-9 unit encountered a 37-year-old man driving a 2008 sedan and seeking admission into the U.S. from Mexico at the San Ysidro Point of Entry in San Diego, California. After the CBP K-9 unit alerted officers to the glove compartment area…

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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) for assisting minors with traveling out of state to obtain abortions without parental consent. The 18-page complaint, filed Thursday in the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, comes after an undercover investigative video published by Project Veritas in December appeared to show Planned Parenthood staff discussing how the organization assists out-of-state patients in arranging transportation to obtain abortions. https://twitter.com/AGAndrewBailey/status/1763213925368185107?s=20 “Recently, officers, employees, or agents of PPGP admitted on video to an undercover reporter that PPGP ‘every day’ facilitates minors obtaining abortions…

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A Maine man is facing up to ten years in prison after being indicted on federal charges for allegedly lacing ice cream with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at a New Hampshire cafe. Marc Flore, 43, was indicted on one count of tampering with consumer products, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire Jay McCormack announced Thursday. In charging documents, federal prosecutors accuse Flore of lacing a batch of coffee-Oreo flavored ice cream with THC — a schedule I controlled drug that is the psychoactive chemical of cannabis — at the Roots Local Cafe and Catering in Newmarket, New Hampshire in…

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Two people that were found deceased in a residence in Milford on Wednesday have had their deaths ruled as suicides by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, at about 5 p.m., the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in Milford for a well-being check. Upon arrival at the residence, deputies discovered two deceased individuals. The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office considered the deaths suspicious and investigated the incident alongside the Maine State Police Major crimes Unit North. The two deceased individuals were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in…

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A commission dedicated to advancing far left ideology within Maine’s state government is having trouble coming up with an anti-corruption policy. The chief reason? The commission is comprised almost of exclusively of employees of nonprofit organizations that seek taxpayer-funded grants from the commission for themselves and their allies. Maine’s so-called “Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous & Tribal Populations (PCRITP)” — the brainchild of House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) — was originally intended to rename rivers, creeks, and mountains in Maine that still had offensive names. Rather than quickly accomplish that simple task, the organization has morphed…

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Several large Maine hospitals are not in compliance with federal transparency rules regarding online pricing and services information, according to a new report from the healthcare price transparency advocacy organization PatientRightsAdvocate.org (PRA). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in charge of administering the Medicare and Medicaid programs, established rules in January 2021 requiring hospitals to publish clear and accessible pricing information about the items and services they provide. The rules are aimed at making it easier for consumers to shop around and compare prices at various…

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A Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine DHHS) caseworker allegedly used her position to extort sex from a father trying to reunite with his children, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. [RELATED: Maine DHHS Announces New Child Welfare Director, Vows “Rapid Management Audit”…] The 35-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleges that Maine DHHS caseworker Morgan Polky used her position helping father Kerry Ross regain custody of his children to coerce the man into sex and to send her nude photos. Polky allegedly used her position to put Ross into situations in which he feared…

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Members of the Portland City Council expressed their frustration during a Tuesday committee meeting toward Maine lawmakers who do not want to use taxpayer funds on the city’s outsized expenditures toward homeless shelters and welfare programs. [RELATED: Portland Budget Woe: Decline in State, Federal Funding, Staffing Shortages, Shelter for Homeless and Asylum Seekers…] The comments were made during the City Council’s Legislative and Nominating Committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27, made up of Portland Mayor Mark Dion and City Councilors Pious Ali and Kate Sykes. The Legislative and Nominating Committee is responsible for making decisions regarding state and federal legislation…

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U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island sent a letter to President Joe Biden Wednesday calling for a U.S. Navy hospital ship to be deployed to treat Gazan civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas. [RELATED: King Praises Embattled UNRWA, Calls for More Aid to Gaza…] Since the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, killing approximately 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostages, Israel has engaged in an extensive bombardment and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip with the objective of destroying Hamas.…

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A Maine man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor Wednesday to nearly five years in prison for trafficking fentanyl and other drugs through Somerset County. Cody Mosher, 29, was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. According to court records, in January 2023, Mosher led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through Norridgewock and Madison after Somerset County deputies stopped his vehicle and attempted to execute a search warrant and arrest warrant. After the chase, Mosher was placed under arrest and his vehicle was searched,…

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In advance of a Friday government funding deadline, Democratic Maine Congressman Jared Golden called for a bipartisan Congressional coalition to “sideline hardliners” who he says want a government shutdown. [RELATED: Golden Pitches Compromise Border Security and $66 Billion Foreign Aid Package on CBS’ Face the Nation…] Rep. Golden’s Tuesday statement came on the heels of Congressional leadership of both parties convening at the White House to meet with President Joe Biden regarding spending negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters outside the White House following the Tuesday meeting that it was “productive and intense.” “We made it so…

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on Tuesday announced the arrest of a Guatemalan illegal alien recently convicted of sexually assaulting a child after he was released by a Massachusetts court. [RELATED: Haitian Illegal Alien Charged with Raping Developmentally Disabled Person Arrested by ICE After Being Released…] ICE said the Guatemalan national illegally entered the U.S. April 2011 at an unknown location, without be inspected or admitted by immigration officials. The 34-year-old Guatemalan was convicted in January of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and a separate offense of assault in battery, in…

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Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous & Tribal Populations (PCRITP) is slated to implement a new conflict of interest policy after the Maine Wire reported that the Commission granted $12,000 to an organization co-founded by the sister of House Speaker and PCRITP co-chair Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland). [RELATED: Maine Speaker’s Racial Equity Board Gave Her Sister’s Nonprofit $12,000 for Black History Month…] Earlier this month, the Maine Wire revealed that PCRITP granted $12,000 to the Portland-based nonprofit organization Cross Cultural Community Services (CCCS) for a Black History Month event. The vendor contact listed on the Commission’s $12,000 grant is…

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Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey (D) announced Tuesday that he has filed a complaint under the Maine Civil Rights act against a Lewiston woman accused of a racially motivated assault. According to the complaint, filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court, 65-year-old Andrea Ouellette of Lewiston confronted a 31-year-old black man outside while he was speaking with his neighbor in November 2023. The complaint alleges that Ouellette called the victim a racial epithet and threw a pumpkin at his head, causing him to suffer a broken tooth, broken nose, and a swollen face, requiring surgery as a result. After the assault,…

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The Portland City Council’s Housing and Economic Development Committee recently released a draft of their 2024 Work Plan, which includes exploring the implementation of a universal basic income (UBI) and a possible increase of the city’s minimum wage to $20 per hour. [RELATED: Global Warming Will Send Thousands of Migrants to Maine, Claims Portland’s Sustainability Director…] The Housing and Economic Development Committee is made up of Portland City Councilors Pious Ali, Roberto Rodriguez, Regina Phillips, and Kate Sykes. Listed on the committee’s drafted Work Plan, under the heading “Economic Development Policy,” is “Implement a Universal Basic Income pilot project” and…

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday that he has filed a lawsuit against a major pornography distribution company for allegedly violating a state law that requires age verification measures to protect minors from being exposed to obscene sexual materials online. The Texas law in question, HB 1181, came into effect in Sept. 2023, and requires websites hosting adult content to verify whether a user is 18 years or older. The statute also requires that pornography websites include warnings of “the harms associated with viewing such material, including potential addiction, impaired brain development and function, and other emotional and mental…

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A Maine Man was arrested late Monday night after allegedly exposing himself to students on the Bates College campus in Lewiston, according to police. Lewiston Police say they were called to the Bates College campus on Monday, Feb. 26 at approximately 11:47 p.m. for a report of a male exposing himself to students. After speaking with witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage from the area, with the assistance of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team, police located 55-year-old Robert Allen Burgess Jr. of Mechanic Falls hiding nearby, police said. Robert Burgess Jr., 55, of Mechanic Falls | Source: Lewiston Police…

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Maine Democratic Congressman Jared Golden and a bipartisan group of his House colleagues are pushing for the expedited consideration of their compromise border security and foreign aid package bill. The package was introduced earlier this month as an alternative to the $95 billion foreign aid package passed by the Senate and deemed dead on arrival by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). The “Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act,” spearheaded by Reps. Golden and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), proposes $66 billion in defense spending to support Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, alongside the implementation of a handful of border security measures. [RELATED: Jared Golden…

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A Salvadoran MS-13 gang member who has been previously removed from the U.S. three times and is wanted for murder in El Salvador was arrested by federal immigration enforcement officers in Massachusetts last week. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested the unlawfully present 44-year-old Salvadoran fugitive in Foxboro, Mass. on Monday, Feb. 19. According to ICE, the Salvadoran national unlawfully entered the U.S. for the first time in March 2001, and was deported in January 2007. The MS-13 gang member was deported for a second time in July 2010, and a third time in October 2012, after unlawfully…

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A South Portland man is facing up to 55 years in prison after pleading guilty to gun and drug trafficking charges. Joshua Hopkins, 33, of South Portland, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of fentanyl and cocaine with intent to distribute. According to court records, Hopkins was found by police at a South Portland hotel in April 2023 with an active state arrest warrant. A search of Hopkins’ backpack revealed multiple scales, a single round of 7.62 mm x 39 mm ammunition, a blender that contained suspected…

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Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey has determined that the use of deadly force by a South Portland Police Officer that resulted in the death of a 47-year-old man in August 2023 was done in self-defense and was justified. In his Feb. 17 letter to South Portland Police Chief Daniel Ahern, Attorney General Frey detailed his investigation and legal review of the the Aug. 25, 2023 use of deadly force incident. South Portland Police officers Anthony Verville and Akos Szekely responded to the area of Summit Terrace in South Portland shortly after 4 a.m. on Aug. 25, 202 after receiving complaints…

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Maine Democratic lawmakers on the Legislative Council voted Thursday to reject an after-deadline emergency bill proposal that would restrict the use of public school bathrooms by biological sex. The requested bill, entitled “An Act to Create a Safe Environment in Public School Bathrooms by Restricting Their Use to Persons of the Same Biological Sex,” was introduced by Rep. Katrina Smith (R-Palermo). Asst. House Minority Leader Amy Arata (R-New Gloucester) presented the bill on behalf of Rep. Smith to the Legislative Council Thursday. Rep. Arata pointed to an ongoing situation at Brewer High School that involves a student using the bathroom…

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Portland Police say a pair of male teens are responsible for an attempted carjacking and robbery of a 64-year-old woman Thursday on Marginal Way. Police say they were called to a parking area in the area of 161 Marginal Way in Portland shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday. According to police, a 64-year-old woman was sitting in her car in the parking area when two male juveniles entered her vehicle and threatened her, with one juvenile in the front seat wielding a knife. The woman was robbed before she exited the car, and when the pair of teens were unsuccessful in…

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Border officials in Texas made the largest-ever seizure of methamphetamine at a port of entry when they interdicted over 13,000 pounds of the illegal drug hidden in a trailer crossing a bridge over the Rio Grande last weekend. [RELATED: DEA Administrator Briefs Susan Collins on Illegal Chinese Marijuana Grows, Increased Opioid and Meth Use in Maine…] On Sunday, Feb. 18, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Camino Real International Bridge in Eagle Pass, Texas conducted a secondary inspection of a tractor trailer that appeared to be carrying a shipment of a swine drying agent used on newborn…

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Three Mainers are facing drug trafficking charges after leading police on a chase down Interstate 95 Wednesday morning, according to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. Police say Penobscot Sheriff’s deputies initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Littlefield Avenue in Hermon at about 10:42 a.m. Wednesday for a traffic violation. The vehicle failed to stop for the deputies, and led police on a pursuit northbound on I-95 before eventually pulling over near the area of the Broadway Exit in Bangor, police said. Police seized 142 grams of crack cocaine and 11 grams of fentanyl during the…

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows over a restriction on campaigns collecting signatures at polling locations during the March 5 primary election. [RELATED: RFK Jr. Collects Necessary Signatures to Appear on New Hampshire Ballot…] In an email obtained by the Maine Wire, team Kennedy attorney Paul Rossi said Bellows is “out of control” and a “political hack without any regard for rights guaranteed under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.” The federal lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the District of Maine and assigned to District Judge John…

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The Portland City Council will vote Monday on whether to provide a $1.2 million loan to a planned affordable housing project in the city’s Libbytown neighborhood. The project, 45 Dougherty, is set to be be located on a portion of city-owned property at 43 and 91 Douglass St., adjacent to the Dougherty Fields complex, and will consist of 63 units of rental housing. All of the project’s units will be affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income — $56,820 for a 2-person household or $70,980 for a 4-person household. According to a city…

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The leadership Political Action Committee (PAC) led by Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) ended 2023 in a deficit after spending tens of thousands of dollars on overseas travel and meals at various restaurants, according to filings with the Maine Ethics Commission. [RELATED: Maine Speaker’s Racial Equity Board Gave Her Sister’s Nonprofit $12,000 for Black History Month…] Under Ethics Commission rules, leadership PACs — committees led or controlled by a current member of the Legislature — are not restricted in how they spends their funds, except for a prohibition on compensating the legislator or members of their immediate family.…

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A federal jury in Washington, D.C. convicted two Chinese nationals Tuesday for participating in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud Apple Inc. out of 5,000 iPhones. [RELATED: Four Chinese Nationals Charged With Illegally Exporting U.S. Military Technology to Iran…] Haotian Sun (aka Hao Sun, Jack Sun, and Frank Sun), 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Pengfei Xue, 33, of Germantown, Maryland were convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to court documents, Sun and Xue, along with other co-conspirators, submitted counterfeit iPhones with spoofed serial numbers to Apple for repair, aiming to get Apple retail stores and Apple…

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Auburn Police announced Tuesday that a man has been arrested on drug trafficking charges after a search warrant executed at the man’s home and business led to the seizure of large quantities of narcotics and firearms. Auburn Police say they conducted a traffic stop at about 1 p.m. Tuesday in connection to an ongoing narcotics investigation. The operator of the vehicle, 43-year-old Darren Douin of Auburn, was found to be in possession of narcotics and a firearm, police said. Darren Douin, 43, of Auburn | Source: Auburn Police Department Based on the evidence obtained during the traffic stops, Auburn Police…

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The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) voted unanimously last week to allow election officials to allocate federal funds toward countering disinformation in elections caused by artificial intelligence (AI). The decision comes after U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sent a letter in January calling on the commission to assist state and local election officials in addressing deceptive AI-generated content. [RELATED: Maine Bans Artificial Intelligence Use by State Agencies for 6 Months Due to ‘Cybersecurity Risks’…] The bipartisan duo’s letter followed reports of an apparent robocall in the lead-up to the New Hampshire primary election that used AI…

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The Oxford County Republican Committee announced Tuesday that they plan to host a debate for the 2024 Maine Second Congressional District Primary scheduled for Saturday, April 20, a week ahead of the Republican state convention. The debate, which aims to draw up to 300 attendees, is set to be held at the American Legion Jackson-Silver Post 68 Hall in Greenwood, and to be moderated by Steve Robinson, Editor-in-Chief of the Maine Wire. Both candidates, State Reps. Mike Soboleski (R-Phillips) and Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent), have been invited to attend the debate to answer questions before CD-2 voters in Oxford County.…

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A Portland man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to 16 years in prison for drug trafficking and for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old child he met online. U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced 32-year-old Sebastian Demers to 15 years on the child exploitation count, and one year on the drug trafficking count, with the sentences to be served consecutively followed by 10 years of supervised release. Demers was also ordered to pay the victim and the victim’s family $15,843.27 in restitution. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2022. According to court records, Demers befriended a 14-year-old child online…

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A Maine school district has agreed to change how it promotes “affinity groups” for students of color after receiving pushback from an anti-critical race theory activist organization. [RELATED: Maine Private School Teacher Was Fired After Criticizing Critical Race Theory and Posting Jordan Peterson Videos…] In December, the New York-based Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) sent a letter to Mt. Ararat High School Principal Chris Hoffman over concerns related to how the school was marketing skin-color based affinity groups. FAIR’s complaint centered around the Topsham school’s promotion of their “Students of Color Coalition.” The nonprofit organization cited a notice to…

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Portland Police announced Tuesday that a man has been arrested in connection to a January assault and home invasion on Congress Street. On Jan. 19th, at around 3:18 a.m., police responded to a report of an assault and home invasion at 723 Congress St. in Portland. Upon arrival, a 62-year-old female told police that someone broke into her apartment and severely beat her, Portland Police said. Following a month-long investigation, Portland Police arrested 53-year-old Stephen Brichetto on Monday, Feb. 19. Brichetto was charged with Aggravated Assault and Burglary and booked at Cumberland County Jail, according to Portland Police spokesperson Brad…

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A Portland man has been arrested in connection to a Monday stabbing on Portland Street. Portland Police responded to 5 Portland St. on Monday, Feb. 19 at approximately 11:22 a.m. for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, a 36-year-old man was found lying on the ground with an apparent stab wound, police said. The man was transported to Maine Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Just over an hour after launching their search for the assailant, Portland Police located the suspect at 1 City Center. Eliot-James Nelson, 33, of Portland, was taken into custody after a brief struggle and…

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Lewiston Police are investigating a shooting that occurred early Sunday morning at a Pine St. apartment building. Police say they were dispatched just before 5 a.m. Sunday to the area of 189 Pine St. in Lewiston for a report of multiple gunshots fired from outside a multi-unit apartment building. Upon arrival, officers discovered that numerous shots had been fired into an apartment, and located shell casings outside the building. Lewiston Police say the suspect may have fled in a vehicle following the shooting, and that the shooting was not random but directed toward a specific apartment. No one was injured…

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A Mexican national who was previously removed from the United States twice was sentenced Friday to 27 months in prison for illegally crossing the U.S.-Canada border in Hamlin, Maine. Alberto Beltran-Martinez, 44, of Mexico pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. after a prior removal on Sept. 25, 2023, and has been incarcerated since he was arrested on April 29, 2023. According to court records, Beltran-Martinez and six other individuals were pulled over in Hamlin near the U.S.-Canada border by a U.S. Border Patrol agent from the Van Buren Border Patrol Station. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine…

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A two-vehicle accident in Eustis early Saturday left two seriously injured and resulted in three undocumented Ecuadorian nationals being taken into custody by Border Patrol, according to police. Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies and Maine State Police responded to the crash around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10 on The Arnold Trail Road off state Route 27 in Eustis. According to police, 28-year-old Luis Mayancela-Yunga of Biddeford was driving a silver 2010 GMC passenger van south transporting undocumented individuals from Ecuador, when he lost control of the van on the icy road and skidded sideways across the centerline. The van collided…

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A Democratic Kansas State Representative criticized a bill currently being considered by the Kansas State Legislature that would ban the purchase of candy and soft drinks with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by saying her obesity was not caused by eating sugary foods. SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federally-funded welfare program that provides low-income families with assistance to buy “nutritious food essential to health and well-being.” [RELATED: Maine DHHS Indiscriminately Issues $13.5 Million in Food Stamps for Those Affected by the December Storm…] The bill in question, HB 2673, would direct the secretary of…

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Thursday alleging that the state’s aggravated prostitution statute discriminates against prostitutes with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution statute, which dates back to 1991, makes it a Class C felony when a person who is knowingly infected with HIV engages in sexual activity as a business, or seeks to be hired for sexual activity in a house of prostitution or public place. The DOJ alleges that the enforcement of Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution statute violates the Americans with Disabilities…

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A 6-year-old missing child from Iowa has been found safe on Peaks Island off the coast of Portland. Avery Doherty, 6, of Ames, Iowa was found by police on Peaks Island on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Ames Police said that Esther Bender, the child’s mother, unlawfully removed Avery from Iowa on or about Oct. 14, 2023, in violation of a court order. Bender, 41, was arrested on Peaks Island and charged with Violation of a Custodial Order, a serious misdemeanor under Iowa state law. “We want to that the Story County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police, Portland (ME) Police Department and…

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U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine Darcie McElwee announced Wednesday that her office collected a total of $24.4 million from civil and criminal actions during fiscal year 2023. Nearly all of the $23 million collected by the Maine U.S. Attorney’s Office from civil actions was the result of a $22.5 million settlement in July 2023 in United State of America v. Martin’s Point Health Care, Inc. [PAGING DARCIE: The Mortgage Broker Troy Jackson Threw Under the Bus Denies Wrongdoing: “Something seems a little fishy here”…] The settlement with Portland-Based Martin’s Point was the largest Medicare fraud settlement in state…

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills has proposed creating an “Office of New Americans” to bring 75,000 low-skill workers to Maine, but a new dire warning from the City of Portland’s Sustainability Director suggests the new office may be unnecessary. That’s because rising temperatures caused by global climate change will lead thousands of migrants from developing countries to relocate to Maine without additional incentives and recruitment efforts. City of Portland Sustainability Director Troy Moon says that climate change could drive additional refugees from Africa, Asia and Central America to migrate to Portland. Moon described the phenomena in his “Resilience and Climate Vulnerability”…

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U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Chief Jason Owens has appointed Juan Bernal as the new Chief Patrol Agent (CPA) of Maine’s Houlton Sector, which encompasses the entire state and the northeastern corner of the U.S.-Canada border, as well as Maine’s sprawling coastline. [RELATED: Border Patrol Apprehends 20 Romanian Nationals Who Illegally Crossed US-Canada Border into Hodgdon…] Chief Bernal, prior to assuming command as the Houlton Sector’s 28th CPA on Feb. 12, was the Acting CPA of the Del Rio Sector — a 242-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border. Newly-appointed Houlton Sector CPA Juan G. Bernal | Source: U.S. CBP “It is…

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Three people were arrested Wednesday after a search of a Pittsfield home by Maine State Police led to the discovery large quantities of illegal drugs and multiple firearms. State Troopers executed a search warrant at 693 Canaan Rd. in Pittsfield at around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The search led to the seizure of 32 grams of cocaine base, 5.5 grams of fentanyl, oxycodone, 13 pounds of processed marijuana, prescription pills and firearms. Source: Maine State Police The owner of the Pittsfield home, 46-year-old Michael Wyllie, was arrested on charges of Aggravated Trafficking of Fentanyl, Cocaine Base, and Marijuana,…

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