Maine Office of Public Safety wrap-up: Overturned trucks, arson charges, and trafficking of cocaine
MAINE — Tractor trailer trucks crash in high winds, a man is charged with arson following a church fire, and another man is arrested for trafficking cocaine, as reported by the Maine Office of Public Safety over the last month.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
A tractor trailer truck went off Interstate 295 in Portland, Tuesday, Feb. 21, and ended up along mudflats. Troopers said the truck went off the snow-covered roadway at 6:45 a.m., crashed through guardrails and ended up off the road upright.
The driver was not injured and he was not charged.
The trailer portion of the truck was empty.
Southbound lanes of the Interstate closed later that night to allow room for wreckers to remove the big rig. Southbound traffic, at 9 p.m., was diverted at Exit 10 in Falmouth for southbound traffic.
The Maine Department of Transportation assisted police with the road closure, which was estimated to take between two and three hours.
Monday, February 25
A tractor trailer truck jackknifed on icy roads near Kenduskeag Stream between Union and Broadway, blocking both northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Bangor, Monday, Feb. 25.
The truck driver was not injured.
Motorists had to use alternate routes to avoid the area.
A wrecker responded to the scene, as well as the Maine Department of Transportation.
Monday, February 25
State Police say high winds during the morning of Monday, Feb. 25, may have caused a tractor trailer to lose control on the Maine Turnpike in Wells. The truck, hauling bananas, overturned in the northbound lanes and cause traffic backups for seven hours until the wreck was removed about 11 a.m. The crash was reported at 4 a.m.
The northbound lanes in Wells were reduced to one lane. Troopers diverted traffic to the breakdown lane to get around the wreck, which is on its side.
The driver told troopers high winds caused him to swerve and the truck overturned, police said.
He escaped injury, and the truck, owned by NAK Express, also from Pennsylvania, was demolished.
The driver was cited by troopers for a log book violation.
Thursday, Feb. 28
The State Fire Marshal’s Office, working with both the Millinocket police and fire departments, have charged a Millinocket man with allegedly setting fire to a Millinocket church last June.
Adam Turner, 21, of Millinocket, was taken into custody, Thursday, Feb. 28, following his indictment by the Penobscot County grand jury on burglary and arson charges.
Investigators say Turner set three separate fires to the inside of the Church of the Nazarene at 134 Forest Ave in Millinocket on June 20.
Damage to the church was $60,000.
Fire investigators say DNA evidence led to Turner, after evidence was processed at the State Police DNA Lab in Augusta.
Turner was arrested by Millinocket Police, Thursday, and was taken to the Penobscot County Jail, where he was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
There is no clear motive to the fire, and Turner had no affiliation with the church, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Thursday, March 7
The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said a New Jersey man faces cocaine charges following his arrest, Thursday, March 7, in Biddeford. Charged with two counts of Aggravated Trafficking in Crack Cocaine is Melvin Paschal, 53.
For the past two months, the MDEA York District Task Force has been investigating Paschal for allegedly selling crack in Biddeford. Agents received citizen tips via the MDEA tip line that Paschal was allegedly selling crack from an apartment at 8 St Mary’s Street in Biddeford. During the investigation, agents made several undercover purchases of crack cocaine from him, police said.
On March 7, at about 6 a.m., agents arrested Paschal at that apartment without incident. During a search of the apartment, agents seized 45 grams of crack cocaine, $940, in suspected drug proceeds, and other evidence of drug trafficking. The street value of the seized cocaine is $4,500.
Agents were assisted in the investigation and arrest by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force and Biddeford Police, who also transported Paschal to the York County Jail.
MDEA welcomes the public’s help in their drug investigations by contacting them at any of their offices or by texting MDEA to TIP411 (847411) or calling the MDEA tip-line at 800-452-6457.
Saturday, March 9
State Police arrested a Portland man Friday, March 8, after a chase on the Maine Turnpike from York to Biddeford.
David Logugune, 21, was charged with a number of offenses and taken to the York County Jail. Police said he did not have a driver's license and bail conditions from prior charges prohibited him from driving.
The pursuit began in York on the turnpike, at about 8 p.m., when a trooper saw Logugune's car with its muffler dragging on the road causing sparks. After stopping his car, Logugune then took off in the northbound lanes reaching speeds of over 100 mph, police said.
Troopers used spike mats 20 miles later in Biddeford and deflated the fleeing car's tires, bringing the chase to an end.
Logugune's car struck a second vehicle as the chase ended and the driver of that second car was treated for minor injuries.
Northbound traffic on the turnpike was disrupted for a time as troopers investigated the crash.