BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered that a Washington County man who allegedly threatened to shoot a Jonesboro town employee and President Barack Obama be held without bail pending the outcome of his case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk said she would revisit the issue of bail for Michael Henry Wenrich Jr., 48, of Jonesboro if he could be housed in a federal halfway house in Portland or similar facility in Bangor or Augusta so his mental health issues can be addressed.
Wenrich, also known as Michael Jadu, made his first court appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Kravchuk found after a brief hearing Tuesday that there was probable cause for Wenrich to be charged.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCormack asked that Wenrich be held without bail because he posed a danger to the community. Federal Public Defender Virginia Villa told the judge that Wenrich originally was arrested by Maine State Police on Aug. 20, then released. He was rearrested Thursday evening on a federal warrant on the firearms charge, according to court documents.
No charges have been filed in Washington County, according to the district attorney’s office in Machias.
On Aug. 20 Wenrich walked into the U.S. Coast Guard station in Jonesport and told personnel there that he was “an ‘undercover’ operative of the U.S. government and he needed to speak with the commander in chief,” according to the complaint.
After one member of the Coast Guard saw what he believed to be a handgun in the duffel bag Wenrich was carrying, another asked to search the bag, the complaint states. In it the employee found a .22-caliber revolver, 29 rounds of ammunition, a leafy green substance believed to be marijuana and a white powdery substance in a small vial.
Investigators also found a rifle and ammunition at his home, according to court documents.
Wenrich was prohibited from possessing guns because of a 1998 conviction for fleeing a police officer in Pontiac, Mich., according to court documents.
If convicted, Wenrich faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.