POLICE BEAT

Waterville police bust two in stolen guns case

Posted Jan. 18, 2012, at 3:41 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 1:56 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — A pair of Kennebec County men with criminal records were arrested on weapons charges Saturday afternoon during a sting in Waterville, according to police.

Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said the weapons, believed to have been stolen recently from residences in Fayette and Litchfield, were seized from Ronald Wilson, 35, of Rome and David Berube, 34, of Gardiner.

The arrests took place in the Home Depot parking lot just after 2 p.m. Saturday. A third man was taken into custody but later released, Rumsey said.

Rumsey added the investigation had lasted a couple of weeks, and that both men have prior convictions: Berube for possession of heroin and Wilson for burglary.

“We are familiar with Wilson, for sure,” Rumsey said, adding that the burglaries in Fayette and Litchfield took place within the last three weeks.

An undercover officer purchased the guns, a Ruger .22-caliber revolver and a 9 mm Browning handgun, from the two men, according to Rumsey. After the exchange was made, plainclothes officers swooped in and took the suspects into custody, the deputy chief said.

Officers from Fairfield, Oakland, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine State Police assisted their Waterville counterparts in the investigation, Rumsey said, and troopers were positioned on Interstate 95 in case Wilson’s getaway car left the Home Depot parking lot.

Wilson was charged with felony possession of a firearm, a Class C offense, and unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, a Class D misdemeanor, because he had the drug Suboxone on him, Rumsey said.

Berube also was charged with felony possession of a firearm. Both men were taken to the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta, where bail was set at $2,500. Additional charges may be lodged against the men, Rumsey said.

“We moved as quickly as we could to bring this case to a successful conclusion, which we were able to do with nobody being hurt and little to no disruption of the civilians who may have been in that area,” he said.

If convicted, Wilson faces up to five years in prison on the weapons charge, and an additional year on the drug charge. Berube also faces up to five years behind bars on the weapons charges.

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