Maine: Biddeford man, Jamison Snyder jumps out second-story window, then gets tased, then gets arrested

Jamieson Snyder was arrested Monday after he jumped out a window trying to avoid police. Officials found suspected heroin/fentanyl, cocaine, and crack on Snyder.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — A man recently released from prison who had a nationwide warrant for his arrest was arrested Monday after jumping out a second story window in Biddeford.

Maine State Police say Jamison Snyder, 47, of Biddeford was wanted in a drug trafficking case. Snyder was recently released from prison but had already violated his probation. He had 7 years o9-year9 year sentence still pending.

Police spoke to several people who said Snyder was acting strange and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

Around 6 p.m. Biddeford Police arrived at a Main Street Apartment looking for Snyder.

A woman would not open the door saying she needed to get dressed while an officer watching from the street saw Snyder jump from the second-floor window onto ice injuring his head.

When police surrounded Snyder his head was bleeding and he refused to show his hands and was tased.

Police found a plastic bag containing suspected heroin/fentanyl, cocaine, and crack in Snyder’s hand.

At the hospital, authorities found a large amount of cash on his person. Snyder is being charged with aggravated trafficking.

Snyder is presently being held at Maine Medical Center under police guard and will be transported to the York County Jail upon his release.

US-Americans ‘more likely’ to die of opioid overdose than car crash

Opioid overdose has become the fifth most probable reason for preventable death, according to a new report.

A discarded syringe is seen under a bridge on Lester Avenue in Johnson City, New York [File: Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

A discarded syringe is seen under a bridge on Lester Avenue in Johnson City, New York [File: Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

In the United States, the probability of dying from opioids has for the first time surpassed the likelihood of being killed in a car crash, according to a new report by the National Safety Council.

Published on Monday and based on National Center for Health Statistics’ 2017 data, the report found that opioids overdose was the fifth most probable cause of preventable death, with a one-in-96 odds. The odds of dying in a vehicular crash were one-in-103.

More probable causes than opioids overdoses were heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and suicide.

Opioids contributed to the overwhelming majority – 69 percent – of fatal drug overdoses in 2016, totalling 37,814 deaths, according to the NSC.

These opioids include the use of illegal narcotics, such as heroin, and prescription pain killers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

“The nation’s opioid crisis is fueling the Council’s grim probabilities, and that crisis is worsening with an influx of illicit fentanyl,” the council said in a statement on Monday, referring to a synthetic opioid often used to treat severe pain.

Just a day before the report was released, one person died and at least 12 people were hospitalised in northern California in what police described as a “mass overdose” stemming from fentanyl use.


Addiction in the US: A corporate morality crisis

Larry Beinhart
by Larry Beinhart

In 2017, overdose deaths soared, surpassing 70,000, according to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.

And between 2013 and 2017, fatal drug overdose rates grew in 35 of the 50 US states as well as the District of Columbia. In many of those states, synthetic opioids were behind a growing number of deaths, per CDC statistics.

In December, a separate report concluded that fentanyl had become more common than heroin in drug overdose deaths in the country.

Bipartisan legislation, criticism

US President Donald Trump signed an opioid law in late October. The bipartisan law expanded medical treatment for opioid users and made it more difficult to mail illicit drugs.

“Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America,” Trump said during an event at the time.

“We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem.”

The legislation expands access to substance abuse treatment in Medicaid, the government health insurance programme for the poor and disabled.

It also cracks down on mailed shipments of illicit drugs such as fentanyl, and provides a host of new federal grants to address the crisis.

In October 2017, Trump declared opioid addiction a 90-day emergency, a limited declaration that critics said fell short of implementing the measures needed to combat the crisis.

Critics also point to Trump’s previous attempts to slash hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, which provides treatment to around one-third of people seeking help with substance abuse.

In July 2018, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal opponent of Trump, accused the Trump administration of undermining programmes that are pivotal to tackle the opioid crisis.

In a nine-page letter to the president, Warren said his administration “failed to take the actions needed to meaningfully address this crisis … (and has) continued to substitute empty words and broken promises for real action and bold ideas”.

James Grindel & Richard Drost charged in drug-related death of 34 year old Nina Wallace

L-R: James Grindel, 54, of Waltham; Richard Drost, 44, of Sullivan

FRANKLIN, Maine — Two men have been charged following a months-long investigation into the drug-related death of a woman from Sullivan.

On Aug. 25, officials responded to South Bay Road in Franklin after a report of a female who was not breathing. Nina Wallace, 34, ultimately died, and officials began an investigation into the cause of her death.

Trooper Dana Austin and Detective Greg Roy found that James Grindel of Waltham and Richard Drost of Sullivan had furnished and sold fentanyl to Nina, and the drug had contributed to her death. Both suspects were friends with her.

In late December, Grindel was charged with unlawful furnishing of schedule drugs, and on Monday, Drost was also arrested for unlawful trafficking of schedule drugs.

Author: Chloe Teboe, Newscenter Maine

FBI captures Maine fugitive in Sanford

SANFORD (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A wanted fugitive from the Sanford village of Springvale was taken into custody Friday by federal and local law enforcement.

The FBI announced Wednesday a $5,000 tip leading to Joshua Patrick Weldon’s arrest.

A spokesperson said the FBI safely took Weldon into custody at about 3 p.m. in Sanford with assistance from Maine State Police and the Sanford Police Department.

Weldon, who was considered armed and dangerous, had been wanted on a bail violation stemming from an Aug. 13 fentanyl-related charge, as well as evading officers on Nov. 6, according to the FBI.

“We’ve received dozens of tips over the last few days which were invaluable in bringing the investigation to a successful conclusion,” the spokespersons said. “We thank the public for its assistance.”

Here’s the updated wanted poster from the FBI:

Joshua Patrick Weldon: Captured by NEWSCENTER26 on Scribd

Four Things to know on this Thursday in Maine: Honor Flight Maine telethon today, FBI looking for fugitive, and more.

NEWS CENTER Maine can help you get your day started right with a quick look at the stories making headlines across the state.


Today is NEWS CENTER Maine’s annual Honor Flight Maine telethon, where Mainers can help raise money to help send our veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built in their honor. The phone lines, manned by NEWS CENTER Maine staff and volunteers, will be open from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. $700 is enough to send one veteran on the trip. If you are in the Portland area, you can call 855-875-4328 to donate, and if you are in the Bangor area, you can call 855-874-9529.

Take our PULSE poll today to express how you honor our veterans!2. RANKED CHOICE DECISIONS EXPECTED TODAY

Candidates and voters should learn today who won the Second Congressional District race: incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin, or Democrat challenger Jared Golden. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap has spent the past five days processing ballots from the 375 towns and cities in CD2. That work continued yesterday, despite uncertainty created by a lawsuit filed earlier this week against ranked choice. That suit was filed by Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin and three others, claiming the RCV process violates the U.S. Constitution.

Ranked choice decisions expected Thursday

The FBI is looking for a man from Springvale, and is willing to pay for information leading to his arrest. The bureau is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who can lead them to Joshua Weldon, who disappeared after posting bail on a drug charge. He was arrested in August and charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. The FBI believes Weldon is with his girlfriend, and should be considered armed and dangerous.

FBI offers reward for information on ‘armed and dangerous’ man in Maine


James Dobson, a man from Kittery who was cycling across the country to raise money for childhood cancer research, was killed yesterday. He was riding his recumbent cycle from New England to San Diego, California, and documenting his trip on social media. Dobson was on his bike in Lamar County, Mississippi when he was struck by a car. Police there say a storm affected visibility, and that the driver who hit Dobson probably didn’t see him until it was too late. Dobson was hoping to raise $10,000. After news of his death yesterday, thousands of dollars poured in to his GoFundMe page to surpass that goal.

Maine cyclist killed while on cross-country charity ride

The life and death of Maddie Linsenmeir

The life and death of Maddie Linsenmeir

Maddie, who died aged 30 in September, and her son AydenMaddie, who died aged 30 in September, and her son Ayden

On 14 October, an obituary about a young woman from a small American town went viral on social media.

It described the life and death of 30-year-old Maddie Linsenmeir, Mum to two-year-old Ayden.

Her sister Kate O’Neill wrote the obituary in a local newspaper. She told the BBC it was to show a human face behind a crisis plaguing America.

After taking a painkiller, at the age of 18, Maddie became addicted, and eventually died from an overdose in Burlington, Vermont.

The love and support her family received when the tribute went viral has been “wonderful”, Kate says, adding: “We hope this goes some way to reducing the social stigma of addiction.”

On Wednesday, President Trump signed a new bill to help tackle the epidemic, but Maddie’s family says the country is failing to support the 2 million Americans addicted to opioids, a class of drug that includes heroin and prescription drugs like painkillers.

Last year, 72,000 people in America died from a drugs overdose, the highest number in history. The sharpest increase were deaths from fentanyl.

Maddie LinseneirMaddie Linsenmeir

“My sister was a beautiful, bright woman. She had wanted to star in Broadway musicals and she had the voice for it. She was exuberant in her love and affection for everyone,” Kate, who is 46 and lives in Philadelphia, says.

Maddie first took what turned out to be a highly addictive painkiller called Oxycontin at a party when she was a teenager.

She quickly became an addict, and in the US, drugs are easy to get hold of. Authorities have seized enough fentanyl to kill every single American.

American doctors widely prescribe opioids for pain management, and pharmaceutical companies are allowed to advertise drugs on television, including in primetime slots such as the Superbowl in 2015.

“Loving someone addicted to drugs is really tough and being addicted to drugs is really hard,” Kate explains.

“Being a drug addict is the same kind of drudgery as normal life – getting up, going to work, paying bills. But it is much harder – you’re trying to get up and get the money for a score.”

‘Very low lows’

In the 12 years between that first pill and her death, Maddie tried many times to get clean.

“Whenever she was using she wanted to end it. Sometimes it would be every couple of months, and she would hit very low lows,” Kate explains.

“She tried so hard, and that’s the thing that people don’t understand – America makes it very hard to get clean.”

Maddie was failed by institutions and systems that should have helped her overcome her addiction, her family says.

Maddie, second from the left, wanted to be a Broadway singerleft to right: sisters Maura, Kate, Maddie, and their mother Maureen

“Any doctor in this country can prescribe highly addictive painkillers, but to prescribe medicine shown to help patients recover, doctors have to get a special waiver.

“It’s very hard to get methadone [a heroin substitute that can help reduce addiction over time], people have to stand in line in a clinic. How can you hold down a job like that?”

Kate says there were many times when her sister drove hours across Vermont state to get a bed in a recovery centre but when she arrived, it was given away or there was none available.

When in jail for minor drug offences, there was no medically assisted treatment.

‘Not a person’

This repetitive cycle was interspersed with moments of great joy and happiness for the family.

“One of my best memories is when she had Ayden – seeing how much she loved him, her singing to him. She would take him for walks to the woods or lake, no matter the weather. It was beautiful, she loved being his Mum,” Kate explains.

Ayden will now be adopted by Kate’s sister Maura and her husband.

Kate says that if Vermont, the state that elected left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders, was unable to help Maddie get clean, then she believes there is currently little hope for the rest of America:

“They failed her and continue to fail addicts.”

She advocates safe injection sites or harm reduction programmes that aim to reduce the negative consequences of drug use, including overdose.

But these programmes are not widely supported by the authorities. “They don’t want to condone people taking drugs,” Kate believes.

Maddie's son Ayden will be adopted by her sisterMaddie’s son Ayden will be adopted by her sister

In September, the Vermont Governor’s opioid council rejected proposals to open a safe injection site. In Vancouver, Canada, opening a safe injection site in 2003 led to fatal overdoses declining by 35% in the surrounding area.

After Maddie’s obituary went viral, Burlington Police chief Brandon del Pozo responded on Facebook thanking the family and writing that he was “tired of arguing with reactionaries” who opposed progressive solutions to addiction.

Kate says people have stopped seeing drug addicts as people.

Describing officials and doctors who visibly changed their attitude to Maddie once they learned about her illness, she says she was routinely shocked by the lack of empathy for addicts:

“Police officers, lawyers, correctional officers – when they found out someone is an addict, they see a junkie, not a person with a disease who is suffering.”

Kate is at pains to point out that although her young, good-looking sister has attracted global attention, that shouldn’t overshadow the plight of the thousands of less photogenic addicts who are also suffering.

“If people feel empathy for Maddie, they should feel that for addicts at their lowest, who may be begging on the streets or injecting under bridges.”

She also wrote the obituary to speak to people working in the system who helped her sister.

“She was touched by individuals who just went above and beyond.

“After he read it, a man sent us a message saying he had been sober 18 years, and he would stay sober that day for Maddie.”