Friday, February 09, 2007

It's the fishies that'll get ya

See full article on the Lewiston Sun Journal site here, including photos.
Fish-stocking penalty bigger than fine for pot
By Terry Karkos , Staff Writer
Friday, February 9, 2007

OTISFIELD - Marijuana plants found growing last fall on an Otisfield man's property landed him in hot water with police. But it was the incidental discovery of illegally stocked bass in his ponds that netted the bigger penalty.

On Dec. 14 in 11th District Court, Nicholas Palmer, 23, pleaded guilty to cultivating marijuana and illegally stocking fish in a private pond. Judge John McElwee fined Palmer $250 for growing 52 pot plants, and $1,000 on the fish crime.
"I can understand why they'd fine him stiffly for the fish, because bass are aggressive and would go after trout if the ponds flooded into other waters, but $250 for the pot?" Oxford County Sheriff's Cpl. Chancey Libby asked Thursday afternoon by phone in Paris.

It also didn't come close to covering the amount of time and effort that Libby and other officers put into the cannabis case after being tipped off to plants growing on both Palmer's Ahonen Road property and his neighbor and uncle, Stephen Holden's property, Libby said.

On Sept. 22, Libby had a certified drug spotter in a Maine Army National Guard helicopter fly over both properties looking for pot plants, while he drove into Palmer's yard to question the man. But before he reached the front door, Libby said he saw pot plants growing beside the house.

He then sought and served a search warrant for both properties, finding 52 well developed marijuana plants at Palmer's house and 47 pot plants in and around Holden's house. Holden's case is pending because he's contesting the cultivation charge, Libby added.


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