June 23, 2018
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Routine Presque Isle traffic stop turns up stolen gun

By Scott Mitchell Johnson, Presque Isle Star-Herald

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Presque Isle man allegedly in possession of a stolen gun was arrested Monday morning after the vehicle he was riding in was stopped for speeding.

Robert D. Belmain, 45, initially was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. He then was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, theft by receiving stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon, and unlawful possession of hydrocodone.

Belmain was a passenger in a 1998 sedan driven by 23-year-old Stephanie Larsen. K-9 Officer Kevin Reed of the Presque Isle Police Department said he observed Larsen, who was driving north on Parsons Street, doing 46 mph in a 25 mph zone. Larsen said she was giving Belmain a ride to the store.

After collecting Larsen’s information, Reed asked Belmain for identification. Belmain said he didn’t have any but gave Reed his name. Reed then had dispatch check the name and was advised that Belmain had an active warrant for his arrest.

Reed also deployed K-9 Dozer and searched the car, finding a hydrocodone pill on the passenger seat and a black Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol under the seat, according to the police report. Reed removed the gun and its magazine and cleared the firearm.

“The magazine was full and the chamber was empty,” said Reed.

As the officer was leaving the parking lot with Belmain seated beside him, according to Reed, Belmain overheard Officer Brian McQuarrie on the radio checking the pistol’s serial number to see if it was stolen.

“Robert spontaneously stated that the gun was stolen from Ashland,” said Reed, who then called the Ashland Police Department and learned there was no record of the stolen firearm matching the description or serial number of the .40-caliber weapon. “While in the booking room, without prompting or question, Robert stated that he doubted the gun had even been reported as stolen yet,” Reed said.

The Ashland and Presque Isle police departments are working to locate the owner of the gun.

Because Belmain was on bail for a motor vehicle offense, he also was charged with violation of conditions of release and transported to the Aroostook County Jail for processing.

Police are asking County residents to ensure that their firearms are secure and accounted for. Persons with any information concerning the stolen and unreported black .40 caliber Hi-Point handgun should contact the Presque Isle Police Department at 764-4476 or the Ashland Police Department at 435-6626.

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