The state has dismissed charges against three New Hampshire brothers in connection with a drug-related armed robbery of a Waldoboro man last March.
“Law enforcement has provided new information that has a significant negative impact on the credibility of the victim’s statements,” Assistant District Attorney Katie Hollstrom said on a dismissal form. “There is no longer sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Miguel Carpio, 32, Rafael Carpio, 27, and Sergio J. Carpio, 35, of Manchester, New Hampshire, were under indictment on four charges each: class A robbery, class B burglary, class B theft by unauthorized taking, and class D criminal restraint.
The Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges March 17.
The Waldoboro man did not immediately report the incident to police. After police received information about a robbery and contacted him, he denied any knowledge of a robbery. Eight days after the incident, he agreed to talk to police, saying he was afraid the men would come back.
According to an affidavit by Waldoboro Police Officer Larry Hesseltine, the Waldoboro man said that around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. on March 9, 2015, three men entered his home on Ralph Wink Road and ordered him onto the floor at gunpoint.
One of the men pointed a gun at him while the others stole between $1,700 and $2,000 in cash, as well as a cellphone, a machete, and prescription drugs, according to the affidavit. The men bound his hands and feet with zip ties and left. The incident lasted about five minutes.
The Waldoboro man told police his attackers were the Carpios.
An acquaintance of the man’s told police she saw a station wagon speeding away from his home with three men inside, and her description met that of a vehicle Rafael and Sergio Carpio were driving at the time of an arrest in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Feb. 28, 2015.
The Waldoboro man “said he didn’t report the incident at first because he didn’t know the suspects’ names and didn’t think Waldoboro Police Department could do anything to help him,” Hesseltine said in the affidavit.
A Lincoln County grand jury indicted the Carpios May 12, 2015.
Rafael and Sergio Carpio were arrested in Manchester, New Hampshire, and transported to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset on May 28, 2015, according to a previous report in The Lincoln County News. They were released on bail June 17.
Miguel Carpio was arrested in Manchester, New Hampshire, on June 17, according to the U.S. Marshal’s Service. His arrest followed his appearance on the service’s Fugitive of the Week program, which features fugitives in local media and on the internet.
Rafael and Sergio J. Carpio were free on bail after an arrest on charges of drug possession in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Feb. 28, 2015, according to court documents. The Carpios were in possession of a 9mm Kel-Tec handgun and $13,650 in cash at the time of their arrest in New Hampshire.
Hollstrom represented the state. She declined to comment on the dismissal.
Waldoboro Police Chief Bill Labombarde worked on the case with Hesseltine.
“In this particular case, (the investigation) proved that it didn’t happen the way it was originally reported,” Labombarde said.
Brunswick attorney Jonathan Handelman, Brunswick attorney James M. Mason, and Camden attorney Jeremy Pratt represented Sergio Carpio, Miguel Carpio, and Rafael Carpio, respectively. By request of the state, Bath attorney David Paris represented the Waldoboro man in order to advise him about his Fifth Amendment rights.
“It was a tricky case for the state for a number of reasons,” Handelman said. The Carpios did not talk to the police, and “there was nothing to corroborate” the eyewitness accounts — which changed during the investigation, he said.
As more information became known about the Waldoboro man and his acquaintance, “it made it a real uphill battle for the prosecution,” Handelman said.
None of the attorneys were willing to give specifics about the new information in the case, but recent court filings include allegations regarding the Waldoboro man’s past and perhaps ongoing ties to drug trafficking.
Pratt said the dismissal “validates what we have been saying from the beginning, which is that (the Carpios) were totally innocent of the charges, so we’re happy that they were vindicated on that.”
Mason declined comment.