Published DateLACONIA — A Meredith man, who last month was charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon and violating a restraining order, both felonies, and driving while intoxicated, has subsequently been charged with receiving stolen property, a class A felony, when police discovered that a handgun found in his vehicle was taken from a residence in Belmont.
Benjamin Vachon, 30, of 62 Powers Road, Meredith is being held in Belknap County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail following his arraignment in the 4th Circuit Court Laconia Division on Tuesday. Earlier the court set bail on other felonies at $6,000. He is scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on the most recent charge on May 6.
According to the affidavit of Detective Chris Noyes, Vachon was arrested for driving while intoxicated, his third offense, on March 23 after he was found driving erratically and slowly on Elm Street in Lakeport. While taking inventory of his vehicle, police found two handguns, one under the steering column among the electronics and another in a backpack on the rear seat, along with an empty magazine. The handgun in the backpack was a Kel-Tec 9 mm. with the serial number RE872.
Five days later, on March 28, Noyes learned from the Belmont Police Department that a resident reported the theft of a Kel-Tec 9 mm. with a serial number matching that of the handgun found in Vachon's vehicle, from his home. The resident told police that he offered Vachon and Fralic a place to stay when the pair said they were homeless. Later the resident said that he from a friend, who also knows Vachon and Fralic, that Vachon was heard bragging about having taken the 9mm pistol.
The affidavit notes that on March 18, Laconia Police took a report from a woman, originally filed with Meredith Police, alleging that amid an argument with Vachon at Leavitt Park earlier that month he brandished a .38 caliber revolver. She said that she did not feel safe around, who she thought was "losing his mind." That same month Detective Corporal John Eichorn of the Meredith Police advised Noyes that he suspected Vachon, who is a convicted felon, was carrying a 9 mm. handgun.
Vachon was convicted of theft in 2003 and first degree assault and possession of weapon while committing a crime in 2004 along with driving while intoxicated in 2005 and 2007. He is currently subject to a restraining order, which prohibits him from carrying or purchasing a firearm.