May 28, 2018
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23 charged in weekend alcohol raid

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

PENOBSCOT, Maine — The Hancock County Underage Drinking Task Force arrested three Maine Maritime Academy students last weekend and charged about 20 other people, all with alcohol-related offenses.

The arrests were the result of a detail Saturday night that concentrated on the Castine area where MMA was celebrating homecoming weekend. The arrests came as the result of a party at a residence in Penobscot rented by the three MMA students who were arrested, according to Deputy Christopher Thornton of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, who heads the task force.

The students, Daniel Hassett, 20, of Falmouth; Michael Syler, 22, of Castine; and Matthew Bourque, 23, of East Sandwich, Mass., were charged with furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol.

In addition, approximately 20 other people, some of them students from MMA and other area colleges, were charged with alcohol-related offenses. The names of those charged were not available late Monday afternoon.

At the Penobscot residence, officers also discovered the remains of an animal that had been killed and gutted on the property. Officers from the Maine Warden Service were called in to investigate and other fish and game charges are pending, Thornton said. No other details about that incident were available.

Also on Saturday night, the task force conducted compliance checks on businesses that serve or sell alcohol. Two of the businesses, which were not named, were found in violation for selling alcohol to an underage patron.

The task force is a multijurisdictional team created in 2005 through a grant from the state Department of Health and Human Services to combat the problem of minors consuming alcohol. It includes 20 officers from agencies throughout the county and enhances the efforts of local departments.

Thornton said the task force has stepped up patrols recently with funding from the Health Education Alcohol Prevention Partnership, which has allowed officers to focus on underage alcohol purchases and campus drinking.

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