Stop Mass Shootings (MoveOn Gun Control Team)

On Sunday, a gunman with a military assault-style weapon killed three people, including a 6-year-old boy, and injured 12 at a garlic festival in California. It was the 42nd mass shooting in July alone and the 246th in America this year.1

These shootings need to stop. At festivals. At schools. At places of worship. At night clubs. At movie theaters.

There are so many simple, clear steps that lawmakers can take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in America—by passing into law policies that are supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans and even most gun owners.2,3

Universal background checks. Closing the gun show loophole. Banning assault weapons such as AR-15s. Banning bump stocks.

Indeed, the Democratic U.S. House passed two bills that would accomplish many of these goals earlier this year, but Mitch McConnell and the GOP—at the bidding of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers—won’t even allow the bills to come up for a vote in the Senate.4 They won’t even allow federal funding for research into gun violence.5 It’s outrageous. And it’s heartbreaking.

That’s why we’re going to hold McConnell and other vulnerable GOP senators accountable and defeat them in 2020, starting with putting up billboards in central, high-traffic locations in their home states that highlight their role in America’s gun violence epidemic. Will you pitch in $3 to help us pay for the billboards?

Yes, I’ll chip in now to help hold GOP lawmakers accountable, fight the NRA, and end the epidemic of gun violence in America.

The horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly seven years ago should have been a tipping point on gun violence in America, but since then:

  • There have been approximately 2,185 mass shootings.6
  • Congress has passed into law zero measures to make our children and communities safer.
  • The NRA and gun manufacturers continue to write big checks to Republican politicians.

According to polls, Mitch McConnell and other GOP senators who are up in for re-election in 2020 are increasingly vulnerable.7 But to defeat them in 2020—which is the only way we can finally pass legislation to address America’s gun violence crisis—we need to make sure their constituents know that they’re standing with the NRA and blocking commonsense reforms to address America’s gun violence epidemic.

We didn’t budget for the billboards, which is why we’re asking you to chip in now, so we can quickly purchase them. We can only do it if we raise the money now. Can you chip in $3—or whatever you can afford—right now?

Yes, I’ll chip in to help hold McConnell and other NRA-funded politicians accountable.

We can never forget that the GOP is culpable in these heartbreaking and avoidable gun deaths, as a result of their obedience to the NRA’s dangerous agenda. Let’s make sure that the voters in their states know it, too.

Thanks for all you do.

–Emily, Emma, Stephen, Manny, and the rest of the team

25 from Maine, N.Y. charged in sweeping Downeast drug bust

The investigation involved more than 30 Maine drug agents, troopers, deputies, the FBI, Border Patrol, Secret Service, U.S. marshals and more.download (1).png

BANGOR, Maine — Fifteen people from Maine and 10 from New York were either arrested or charged this week as part of a major drug trafficking bust, involving a joint effort between 13 county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Maine U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency announced the arrests and charges Friday, which arose from an investigation into drugs being trafficked from New York City to Washington County and Hancock County in Maine.

Seven search warrants were executed Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office said, resulting in the seizure of several firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun and large amounts of crack and fentanyl.

Arrested and charged Thursday by criminal complaint in federal court were the following 14 people with the charge or charges proceeding:

From Maine…

  • Vestin Drisko, 40, of Beals Island; and Renita Honea, 57, of Jonesport, with distributing crack and heroin, and maintaining a drug-involved premises
  • Chandra Hanscom, 44, of Cutler, with distributing heroin
  • Cody Look, 30, of Cutler, with possession with intent to distribute crack
  • Barry McCarthy, 43, of Columbia; and Ralph Sawtelle, 27, of Lubec, with maintaining a drug-involved premises
  • Robert McKenna, 48, of Indian Township, with distributing crack
  • William Smeal, 32, of Hancock, with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl

From New York…

  • Jordy Collado, 18, of New York, New York, with possession with intent to distribute crack
  • Miquel Angel Franco, 22, and Milo Danell Germany, 21, both of Bronx, New York, with possession with intent to distribute cocaine
  • Cinque Grasette, 42, of New York, New York, with distributing crack and heroin
  • Mujahedeen Hasan, 28, of Bronx, New York, with distributing crack
  • Julian Lloyd, 24, of Bronx, New York, with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl

Kevin Leroy Barner, 53, of Bronx, New York, was arrested Thursday after having been charged by indictment March 28 with possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack.

RELATED: 2 New Yorkers charged with arson, selling heroin in Richmond

Additionally, charged Friday by criminal complaint in federal court were the following three people with the charge or charges proceeding:

  • Christopher Cruz, 30, and Christopher Martinez, 29, both of Bronx, New York, with possession with intent to distribute crack
  • Timothy Cates, 40, of Cutler, Maine, with maintaining a drug-involved premises

If convicted, Barner faces between five and 40 years in prison and up to a $5,000,000 fine.

Drisko, Honea, Hanscom, Look, McKenna, Smeal, Collado, Franco, Germany, Grasette, Hasan, Lloyd, Cruz and Martinez face up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for the drug trafficking charges.

Drisko, Honea, McCarthy, Sawtelle and Cates face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for the maintaining a drug-involved premises charges.

Part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, the investigation included: the MDEA; Maine State Police; FBI; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Border Patrol; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Marshals Service; and Maine Marine Patrol.

The MDEA separately announced Friday that it had charged seven people — six from Maine and one from New York — with drug trafficking, as part of the aforementioned investigation involving more than 30 MDEA agents:

From Maine…

  • Jessica Dana, 36, of Indian Township; and Rachel Dwyer, 46, of Lubec, with unlawful trafficking crack
  • Amber Douglas, 24, of Lubec, with unlawful trafficking heroin
  • Wayne Dube, 43, of Jonesport; William Gatcomb, 49, of Sullivan; and John Moholland, 50, of Princeton, with aggravated trafficking crack

From New York…

  • Craig Price, 29, of New York, New York, with unlawful trafficking heroin/crack

Cates, who was also charged in federal court, was charged separately by Maine drug agents with unlawful possession of fentanyl.

South Portland man, Lawz Lepenn arrested after police seize over 550 grams of cocaine, $15,000 from apartment

Lawz Lepenn, 37, formerly of Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with possession and trafficking of drugs, unlawful possession of a firearm, and probation violence.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A man was arrested in South Portland Thursday night after the Southern Maine Regional SWAT team searched his apartment.

Around 8:30 p.m., agents entered the apartment at 113 MacArthur Circle in South Portland’s Redbank Village Apartments.

Their high risk search warrant was part of an ongoing drug investigation being conducted by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

During their search, agents found and seized 554.8 grams of cocaine, 1.8 grams of cocaine base, several suboxone strips, a .25 caliber handgun and ammunition, and over $15,000 in cash.

As a result of the investigation and search, Lawz Lepenn, 37, formerly of Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with possession and trafficking of drugs, unlawful possession of a firearm, and probation violence.

Lepenn was previously convicted for aggravated attempted murder in Massachusetts.

Lepenn is being held at the Cumberland County Jail on a $15,000 bail for the new criminal charges. There is no bail on the probation charge.

Maine: police ask for help solving the 1992 murder of Susan Hannah

Susan Hannah was 22 when she was last seen at a bar in Old Orchard Beach.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Maine State Police are letting the public know the agency is continuing to investigate a case in which a woman’s body was discovered off a logging road nearly 26 years ago.

Susan Hannah’s body was found in Limington in November 1993, more than a year and a half after her mother reported her missing. Hannah was 22 when she was last seen at a bar in Old Orchard Beach.

The Portland Press Herald reports Hannah was living with her mother in Scarborough after having separated from her husband. The Maine State Police alerted the public of its continuing investigation with a Facebook post on April 20. The agency sometimes uses Facebook to notify the public about cold cases.

The agency asks anyone with information call 207-657-3030.

https://youtu.be/00ZkDtUk7yg

Maine: Presque Isle children located safe in NC, dad arrested

The department’s Facebook page says “We have great news! The children have been located and are safe!

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The two children that were reported missing last week by the Presque Isle Police Department have been located safe.

The department’s Facebook page says, “We have great news! The children have been located and are safe! The father Joel Strother has been arrested and is currently on his way to jail!”

RELATED: 2 boys ‘taken’ from Presque Isle may be with father, traveling in small SUV

Joel Strother and the 2 children were located in North Carolina.

Joel-Strother
Presque Isle Police Department:
“Thank you everyone out there on FaceBook,” the Presque Isle Police Department page says. “Because of you all sharing this information and getting the word out, we had a very happy outcome! The information came from a single tip of someone who saw our shared post and decided to call! Well done everyone, we can’t say that enough!”

RELATED: Father of boys ‘taken’ from Presque Isle now wanted by police

No word on when the boys or the dad will be returned to Maine.

Maine: Remains in Augusta identified as Megan Gregory, two years missing.

The human remains found in the Augusta woods in April 2019 have been identified as those of 29-year-old Megan Gregory who went missing June 2017.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The human remains found in the Augusta woods have been identified as those of Megan Gregory. Police were called to the densely wooded area south of the Route 3, near Cushnoc bridge where human remains had been found on April 7.

On Wednesday, April 24 the Medical Examiner Office used dental records to identify the body as Megan Gregory who was almost 28-years-old went she went missing in June 2017.

RELATED: Search continues for Megan Gregory, missing since 2017

RELATED: Police continue search for Gardiner woman missing since June

Police say evidence collected at the scene indicates Gregory’s death was not suspicious and that her remains had been in the wooded area since she was reporting missing almost two years ago.

An official cause of death has not been determined by the Medical Examiner Office.

Police had said that Megan Gregory disappeared without a trace when she was last seen in a hotel parking lot in Augusta.

Gregory had spoken to her long-time friend, Stephanie Miller, every day before she disappeared. Miller told NEWS CENTER Maine that Gregory was staying at someone’s home and it was not a good situation.

New Hampshire: Hit and runs lead to DWI arrest of Robert Harris of Vermont in Campton

26-year-old Robert Harris of St. Johnsbury, Vermont involved in a hit and run accident on Tuesday. Trooper Lori Terhune said after she stopped driver Robert Harris, she learned that he had hit and heavily damaged two other vehicles along the way.

CAMPTON, N.H. — New Hampshire State Police received several reports of a car driving erratically on Interstate 93 between Concord and New Hampton on Tuesday.

Witnesses who called in said the Hyundai Sonata was weaving from lane to lane, tailgating, and passing in the breakdown lane.

A short time later, state police say Trooper Lori Terhune spotted the car traveling on I-93 in the town of Holderness. As the car passed, Terhune noted that it was speeding and continuing to operate erratically. She caught up to and eventually stopped the car along Interstate 93 in the town of Campton.

The driver and sole occupant of the car was identified as 26-year-old Robert Harris of St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Terhune said after she stopped Harris, she learned that he had hit and heavily damaged two other vehicles along the way. He had left the scene of both collisions.

Harris submitted to a field sobriety test and was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI, conduct after an accident, reckless driving, and resisting arrest or detention for fighting with Terhune during the booking process.

Harris will be required to appear in court on the charges.

Police say the investigation is active and on-going.

Anyone who was traveling on Interstate 93 Northbound in the area at the time, or who may be a witness to this incident, is encouraged to contact Trooper Lori Terhune at 603-223-8767 or Lori.Terhune@dos.nh.gov