June 22, 2018
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15 central Aroostook teens charged with underage drinking after police break up pit party

By Julia Bayly, BDN Staff

CARIBOU, Maine — State and local law enforcement officials broke up a pit party last week and as of Tuesday had charged 15 with underage drinking with more likely to be charged, according to Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan.

Using information received through tips, observation and social media sites, members of the Aroostook County Underage Drinking Task Force determined a party was planned for the evening of June 27 in a pit just off Albair Road in Caribou, Gahagan said.

“Throughout the day, there were a bunch of little things we put together,” Gahagan said Tuesday afternoon. “One officer saw a pickup truck with some pallets, the wardens were up in their plane and noticed people gathering, and we started to see some conversations on Facebook.”

At 11 p.m. June 27, members of the Caribou Police Department, joined by wardens and members of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, converged on the pit, where they found about 60 people from around central Aroostook County gathered for a party, Gahagan said.

Many of those in attendance attempted to flee from authorities, Gahagan said, but at least 15 were apprehended and charged with underage drinking.

Three adults also are facing unspecified charges, and more charges, including furnishing alcohol to a minor, underage drinking, burning without a permit and littering, could be forthcoming as the investigation continues, the chief said.

Authorities plan to review security tape from various stores in an effort to determine who may have purchased the alcohol served at the party.

The ages of those attending the party ranged from 15 to 27, and Gahagan said at least one of the minors had a blood alcohol level twice Maine’s legal limit of 0.08 for operating a vehicle, as well as several others.

“We would like to thank the public for the valuable information that led up to the prevention of a possible tragic situation,” Gahagan said.

The Aroostook County Underage Drinking Task Force is partially funded by the Maine Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws grant.


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