MACHIAS, Maine — With about two weeks still remaining in this month, Machias police have already issued 28 charges against 19 people, and three more charges are pending, Chief Grady Dwelley said Tuesday.
He credits alert community members with many of the arrests, as well as an effort by his officers to monitor known offenders.
“We already know that 85 percent of what we do is caused by only 10 to 15 percent of the population,” Dwelley said. “We have a very serious problem here with drugs and alcohol. When we get calls regarding unconscious, intoxicated 14-year-olds, someone is going to pay the price.”
Dwelley was referring to an incident at a University of Maine at Machias dormitory early Sunday morning where two girls — ages 14 and 16 — were found intoxicated. The girls were charged with possession of alcohol by a minor by consumption, and charges are pending against two others who were at the dormitory, as well as the UMM student in whose room the girls were drinking. Dwelley said the teenagers were turned over to parents and did not require hospitalization.
Several of this month’s arrests involved the same person on multiple occasions, according to Dwelley.
Raymie Stoddard, 28, of East Machias was charged on the afternoon of May 4 on the Middle River dike with operating an ATV while intoxicated and operating after suspension. On May 8, after a tip from the public, Stoddard was arrested on drug and operating after suspension charges. He was operating the same ATV as in the first incident.
Lewis Fitzsimmons, 39, of Machias, was arrested May 6 for illegal attachment of license plates. He was arrested again on May 16 for illegal possession of drugs during a routine traffic stop.
Sixteen others have been charged so far this month in Machias and are awaiting court proceedings.