December 12, 2019

Pro-marijuana activist indicted by grand jury

SKOWHEGAN – Thirteen people were indicted this month on 156 separate counts by the Somerset County grand jury.

Included in the indictment list was Don Christen, 51, of Madison, a pro-marijuana activist and founder of The Maine Vocals. Christen was indicted on two counts of aggravated trafficking in marijuana and aggravated marijuana cultivation.

The charges followed a search of his home on Nov. 10 in Madison. Christen has launched a defense that he was legally providing medical marijuana to five “patients” who could not grow their own.

Also indicted was Elaine Weese, 43, of Skowhegan, who is accused of stealing hundreds of dollars from her elderly clients.

Weese was indicted on four counts of theft and a single count of forgery between May 28 and Aug. 1, 2004, which includes cash and checks totaling $1,380 from people she had served while employed by Home Resources of Maine, a private nonprofit agency in Farmingdale.

Also indicted were two men allegedly caught in the act of burglarizing Skowhegan Area High School in November. William Bowring, 21, and Thomas Hutchins, 18, both of Skowhegan, were arrested by Maine State Police later in November trying to board a bus to Lewiston.

They were indicted on 10 counts of burglary and theft and one count of aggravated criminal mischief after an investigation into break-ins at five Somerset County schools, a Canaan ministry and the Somerset County Humane Society animal shelter in Skowhegan.

Other indictments, all for crimes alleged in 2004 unless noted, included:

Eugene Downs Jr., 25, of Embden, 37 counts of burglary, burglary of a motor vehicle and 38 counts of theft in Somerset County.

Johnney Haskell, 41, of Detroit, two counts of marijuana cultivation, between July 1 and Sept. 20 at Detroit, Mayfield and Moxie, unlawful furnishing of schedule drugs, Sept. 20, at Detroit, trafficking of tobacco in a correctional facility at Skowhegan, and trafficking of prison contraband at Skowhegan.

Heidi Rogers, 23, of Waterville, theft between April 1 and June 1 from a Skowhegan bank.

Chad Perry, 22, of Farmingdale, five counts of burglary and theft on Nov. 6 at Skowhegan, Norridgewock and Palmyra and one count of burglary on Nov. 6 in Skowhegan.

Donna Bates, 37, of Athens, theft, between July and October 2003, at Athens.

Anna Rose Carbone, 38, of North Anson, trafficking in prison contraband and trafficking in tobacco in a correctional facility, November at Skowhegan.

Chad Jewell, 24, of Skowhegan, unlawful trafficking, furnishing and possession of schedule drugs, in December at Skowhegan.

Troy Doiron, 37, of Skowhegan, assault, in September at Skowhegan.

Carlton Preble, 65, unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs and marijuana cultivation, September at Palmyra.

All defendants are expected to appear for arraignment at the Somerset County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 11.

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