3 face burglary charges after break-in at former mill

Posted Dec. 03, 2010, at 7:48 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:44 a.m.

ASHLAND, Maine — Three people have been charged with multiple crimes after allegedly breaking into the former Fraser Paper mill in Ashland in late November.

Police Chief Cyr Martin said Friday that the charges and arrests took place over the past few days, with the last arrest occurring early Friday.

Paul Hafford of Mapleton, Joshua Martin of Presque Isle and Carl LaBelle of Ashland each have been charged with aggravated criminal mischief, aggravated theft and burglary. Cyr did not have the ages of the individuals readily available, but said that all three are 21 to 24 years old.

According to Martin, the break-in took place sometime between Nov. 27 and the early morning hours of Nov. 28. The chief said the trio allegedly cut a lock to gain access to the facility and entered a number of buildings on the property. They reportedly vandalized property and stole equipment, cutting wires, laptops, tools, copper tubing and other material. The theft and damage amounted to close to $24,000, Martin said Friday.

“We got some leads and worked with the state police to investigate this case,” he said. “It was a real team effort between their department and ours. That work led to the arrests.”

Martin said that police have recovered most of the items taken in the burglary with the exception of $5,000 worth of equipment. The chief said he believes that the charges will be bumped up to Class B crimes because of the amount of money involved. Class B crimes are punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000.

The suspects remained at Aroostook County Jail early Friday evening.

They will appear in Aroostook County Superior Court on Feb. 17.

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