CHESTER, Maine — A man who was originally facing two traffic tickets after a minor accident is now looking at a felony charge after allegedly attempting to bribe a sheriff’s deputy.
Geary Bonville, 74, of Presque Isle hit a power pole while attempting a U-turn in his tractor-trailer on Pea Ridge Road shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, according to Chief Deputy Troy Morton of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Mike Knight arrived to the incident that was initially investigated as a property damage crash, Morton said.
As Knight was wrapping up his accident report, he noticed that the inspection sticker on Bonville’s truck had been expired since January, and the registration on the trailer expired in February.
When the deputy returned to question Bonville, he acknowledged he was aware of the expired inspection sticker and registration, and Knight went back to his cruiser to write two traffic tickets.
As the deputy was writing the citations, Bonville approached the cruiser, took a pair of $100 bills out of his pockets and dropped them into Knight’s lap, and “asked if he could make [the tickets] go away,” Morton said.
It turns out the tickets did go away and Knight placed Bonville under arrest charging him with bribery, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, according to Morton. The offense was captured on the cruiser’s dashboard camera.
Bonville was brought to Penobscot County Jail and later released on bail.