June 20, 2018
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Bath man arrested on new pot growth charges at arraignment for earlier charge; girlfriend also arrested again

By Beth Brogan, Times Record

BATH, Maine — A Bath man was arrested at the Sagadahoc County Courthouse last week as he emerged from his arraignment on charges of aggravated marijuana cultivation.

Police say Warner Hinkley, 40, of 9 Cottage St., continued to grow marijuana at his home after detectives seized more than 100 plants — as well as other drugs and guns — in February.

Hinkley’s girlfriend, April Smeal, 36, also of 9 Cottage St., also was arrested in February on felony aggravated cultivation of marijuana charges. Police again charged Smeal in late April with the same offense after a bail check at the home.

Smeal and Hinkley were charged with the Class B felonies on Feb. 2 after Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers allegedly seized more than 100 marijuana plants, seven miscellaneous rifles, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and marijuana seeds, and assorted drug paraphernalia from their home, Bath Police Chief Michael Field said at the time.

On April 26, the MDEA, working with the Bath Police Department and Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a bail check at their home and allegedly seized 13 additional marijuana plants, Bath Police Detective David Beauregard said Wednesday.

None of the four teenagers at the home when the bail check was conducted were charged with any crimes, Beauregard said.

Smeal was charged with a new count of aggravated cultivation of marijuana — aggravated because the Cottage Street home is within 1,000 feet of Hyde School, a drug-free safe zone — and with violation of conditions of release, but police were unable to locate Hinkley until May 7, when he was arraigned at Sagadahoc Superior Court on the Feb. 2 charges.

Detectives took him into custody as he emerged from his arraignment, Bath Police Lt. Stan Cielinski said.

Beauregard said Hinkley holds a license to grow medical marijuana, “so he can legally grow if he’s following the rules.”

But police say Hinkley violated the conditions of the license.

To see more from the Times Record, go to timesrecord.com.

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