FARMINGTON, Maine — A Kingfield man was arrested Friday on felony charges he stole, forged and cashed three checks totaling $800.
Jerome R. Cole, Jr., 36, was released from prison in the last 20 days after a 2011 conviction for a series of forgeries, Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said when Cole appeared in court Monday in Farmington.
Cole is charged with forgery and theft and had bail set at $5,000 cash by Judge Nancy Carlson in the Unified Criminal Court.
Robbins asked the court for $10,000 cash bail for the two felony charges, based on a long history of similar charges for Cole.
The number of charges make these new charges felonies. That could mean a maximum sentence of up to five years and $5,000 in fines, Carlson said.
Cole was convicted in December 2011 of six forgery charges from Skowhegan Court, Robbins said. He was sentenced to two years with the Department of Corrections in January of 2012, Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.
“He was in the community just a matter of days before this incident,” Robbins told the judge as he read several forgery and theft charges dating back to the 1990s.
Police say he stole three checks from a family member since his release and forged one for $300, another for $200 and the third for $300. These were cashed at convenience stores mainly in the Solon area, Mary Hastings of the Farmington Police Department read from the officer’s report.
“He has quite a record for the same type of crimes,” Carlson said. “We have to think about the community.”
She set bail at half the amount requested, and said bail could be reviewed once an attorney is appointed to represent Cole.
Farmington’s police Deputy Chief Shane Cote said Cole escaped from a supervised community confinement program in early June, 10 days before he was due to be released. He turned himself in to Franklin County Sheriff’s Department two days later. He was released prior to this incident, Cote said.
Cole was picked up Friday at a relative’s home in Anson by Maine State Police Trooper David Powser. Farmington Officer William Tanner met them in New Vineyard. Tanner arrested and brought Cole to Franklin County Detention Center in Farmington.
Farmington, state police and Franklin County Sheriff’s Department deputies worked together to locate and arrest Cole, Hastings said.