Cops Make Underage Drinking Bust the Easy Way

EASTBROOK — Usually law enforcement officers break up underage drinking parties but on Friday, the party came to them. The Hancock County Underage Drinking Task Force had pulled over a vehicle on the Macomber Mill Road when a go-cart with three youths drove by in the roadway, said Hancock County Deputy Sheriff Chris Thornton.

Three youths were in the go-cart. One young man was riding on the go-cart’s back bumper holding on with one hand and holding a mug full of rootbeer and vodka in the other, Thornton said.

“‘Officer, I am hammered,’” the young man advised the deputy.

While investigating those incidents, another vehicle full of young people with alcohol drove by.

“Once we had the Pontiac stopped, the other two violations found us, so to speak,” Thornton said.

The drivers of the go-cart and the third vehicle had been drinking, Thornton said.

The motorist operating the go-cart, a Franklin boy, 17, was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.

The operator of the second vehicle to pass by police, Alexander Hartley-Johnson, 20, of Lamoine was arrested on a charge of administrative OUI and operating without a license.

The deputy explained that motorists under age 21 are charged with administrative OUI violations if they drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.

The investigation revealed that all were heading to an Eastbrook camp for a party, Thornton said.

At the camp, police arrested Sam Buck, 19, of Bar Harbor on a charge of providing a place for minors to consume alcohol. Buck was also charged with possession of alcohol by a minor and possession of a usable amount of marijuana.

Police began following the initial vehicle after seeing someone underage put alcohol in the trunk while conducting surveillance at an Ellsworth convenience store earlier in the evening.

Thornton and Ellsworth Police Sgt. Shawn Willey followed the vehicle out Route 1 to Route 182 and finally to the Macomber Mill Road, where they stopped the car.

Thornton said he knew where the youths were heading because the task force had gotten information a few weeks ago that there would be a party at an Eastbrook camp after the Mount Desert Island High School prom, but officers weren’t able to locate the camp.

Lt. Tim Cote and Deputies Ben Astbury and Luke Gross assisted at the scene and with transporting the youths to the jail.

Parents were called to retrieve children who weren’t going to jail.

Thornton said there was a “buffet of alcohol” at the party, including beer, rum and vodka.

The deputy said police officers are often accused of being hypocritical when they break up drinking parties.

“We’re just trying to avoid tragedy whether it be a sexual assault, a regular assault, criminal mischief or disorderly conduct,” Thornton said.

One young party-goer had a blood alcohol level of .23 percent, which is nearly three times the .08 percent that the state considers intoxication.

Police charged the following with illegal possession of alcohol by a minor:

Travis Dressel, 19, Ellsworth

Christopher Clark, 18, Southwest Harbor

Girl, 16, Franklin

Boy, 17, Franklin

Brittney Salisbury, 19, Longwood, Fla.

Wyatt Damon, 19, Lamoine

Isabel Hopkins, 19, Mariaville

Gregory Adelmann, 19, Bar Harbor

Dakota Dow, 18, Bar Harbor

Conrad Strout, 18, Southwest Harbor

Brianna Talmade, 18, Lamoine

Two Hancock County boys

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