May 30, 2020

Searsmont man accused of lying to grand jury> Testimony part of computer chip theft probe

BANGOR — A Searsmont man was arraigned and pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of lying before a grand jury in connection with a theft of computer chips from an Augusta firm.

Stephen Buckmore, 27, was indicted Aug. 12 on charges stemming from his appearance as a witness before a federal grand jury in Bangor on Jan. 9, 1996. According to a grand jury indictment, Buckmore, while under oath, “made false material declarations” when answering questions about Jonathan Condriet, a key person in a high-tech ring of people convicted of computer chip theft.

The ring of seven people, some former employees of SCI Systems Inc., stole close to $1 million worth of computer chips from the firm six months before. All have been convicted and sentenced for the crime including Condriet, who was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in October 1996.

According to the indictment, Buckmore gave the following response to a question he was asked before the grand jury: “You never had any conversations with him (Condriet) about his possible involvement in the robbery? Answer: No.’ ”

The second count charges him with giving a false statement to the following question, also posed before the grand jury: “And do you know where Jon (Condriet) would get cash, the 5 or 6 or $7,000 cash to buy a motorcycle like that? Answer: `No, I don’t.’ ”

If convicted, Buckmore faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Buckmore was released on personal recognizance bail. His case was put on an Oct. 6 trial list before U.S. District Judge Morton Brody.

Also arraigned Monday were:

Boyd V. Ellis, 50, Augusta, who pleaded not guilty to three counts handed up by the grand jury in a superseding indictment Aug. 12. Ellis is charged with three counts, among them possession of an unregistered, sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, and manufacturing marijuana, both on June 11. He also was charged with being a felon in posession of a firearm. The count listed 586 rounds of ammunition in various calibers and 41 cartridge cases allegedly in his possession. Ellis was released on standing bail, $5,000 with one surety. His case was placed on an Oct. 6 trial list.

Carl Everett Bickham, 37, Brewer, who pleaded not guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was convicted in New Hampshire of felony sexual assault on or about Oct. 26, 1988. Bickham’s case was placed on an Oct. 6 trial list. He is in the Penobscot County Jail on an assault charge.

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