Man who was selling cocaine from Laconia apartment gets 147 months in federal prison

LACONIA — A man who had pleaded guilty to charges of selling cocaine and crack cocaine from an apartment at 23 Gale Ave., which had a sophisticated surveillance system, has been sentenced to serve 147 months in federal prison.
Acting U.S. Attorney Donald Feith announced that Roger Perkins, 33, formerly of Methuen, Massachusetts, was sentenced for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base ("crack"), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Perkins pleaded guilty to the charges on July 21 of this year.
Feith said that on March 25, 2014, Laconia Police executed search warrants on Perkins' vehicle and a residence associated with Perkins. Police had set up a surveillance team and observed him coming into town driving a black Acura MDX with Massachusetts plates. The police seized $317 cash, 42 grams of cocaine, 15.25 grams of cocaine base ("crack"), a quantity of psychedelic mushrooms, a small amount of MDMA, and a box containing 100 razor blades from Perkins' vehicle.
The search of the residence resulted in the seizure of four firearms, three of which were loaded. Police also recovered 21 grams of cocaine and 6.87 grams of cocaine base ("crack"), $1,000 cash and two digital scales from inside a safe located in a bedroom closet.
Police said the exterior of the apartment building had a video surveillance system for both the inside and the outside that was attached to iPads and televisions throughout the apartment.
As part of his plea agreement, Perkins admitted that he conspired with Windyanne Plunkett to possess the drugs with the intent to distribute them from the residence. On July 29, 2015, Plunkett appeared before Judge McCafferty and pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy charge. Plunkett is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 11, 2016.
According to court documents, beginning on or about Jan. 1, 2014, Perkins and Plunkett conspired with others to sell drugs from their residence. When Perkins was away from home, Plunkett handled the transactions.
Perkins was prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of his Dec. 20, 2005, felony conviction in the Belknap County Superior Court of possession of cocaine.
Judge McCafferty sentenced Perkins to 87 months of imprisonment for the drug trafficking and felon in possession charges. Judge McCafferty then imposed an additional mandatory consecutive sentence of 60 months of imprisonment for Perkins' possession of firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
Upon release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Perkins will be on supervised release under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for at least five years and as much as life. Should Perkins violate the terms of his supervised release, he could be sentenced to an additional prison term.
The investigation was conducted by the Laconia Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Cole Davis is prosecuted the case.

Belmont Village revitalization project sidewalks don't meet ADA requirements

BELMONT — Selectmen were less than happy when they received word at Monday night's meeting that some of the recent sidewalk improvements made as part the village revitalization project do not meet American With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
Kelly Marsh, who gave a presentation on what the town must do in order to comply with the law, told them the curb in front of town hall was not built to standards, and, that, as a result, a disabled person in a wheelchair ''could go right off from the ramp.''
She also said that bricks are not recommended as a feature of sidewalks due to ice buildup in the cracks, and said that if the town ever redoes the sidewalks, it should flatten out the surface.
That led Selectman John Pike to say he thought the town should send a letter to the engineering firm which did the Main Street work to tell them the sidewalks do not meet the ADA code.
The approximately $1.5 million project, which was completed nearly two years ago, involved the reconstruction of Main, Mill, Center, Fuller and Sargent streets, as well as the reclamation and remediation of the pavement and sidewalks, the replacement of the water system, and landscaping and lighting.
The project was funded by a combination of U.S. Department of Agriculture Community Development Block Grant, the state Revolving Fund and money accrued by the town in highway improvement reserve funds from local taxes, and a highway block grant.

Ward 6 & police commission races most likely to draw voters today

LACONIA — Although the mayor, six city councilors, two members of the Police Commission and four members of the School Board will be chosen at today's municipal election, there are only five contested races on the ballot, with the match between the four candidates vying for two seats on Police Commission the only contest on the ballot in all six wards.

There are races for two of the six City Council seats, both of them rematches. In Ward 2, David Bownes, the incumbent, is challenged by Richard Beaudoin, whom he defeated to win the seat in 2013. In Ward 6, Armand Bolduc, who is seeking his 16th term on the council, faces Tony Felch for the third time.

Incumbent Mayor Ed Engler and councilors Ava Doyle (Ward 1), Henry Lipman (Ward 3), Brenda Baer (Ward 4), and Bob Hamel (Ward 5) are all running unopposed.

The lone contested race for the School Board is in Ward 2, where incumbent Barbara Luther, who was appointed to fill the vacant seat last year, is challenged by James McCoole.

Incumbent Malcolm Murray (Ward 1), Heather Lounsbury, a newcomer running to fill the seat in Ward 6 opened by the retirement of Joe Cormier, and Michael Persson, the incumbent at-large member, are all unopposed.

Incumbent Doug Whittum is joined by three newcomers — Tom Tarr, Jonathan Muller and Michael Gagnon — in the contest to fill two of the three seats on Police Commission.

The polling station in Ward 1 is at the Belknap County Nursing Home, 30 County Drive; in Ward 2 at the St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall, 31 Gilford Ave.; in Ward 3 at Laconia Middle School, 150 McGrath St.; in Ward 4 at the New Covenant Church at the Memorial Park Clubhouse; in Ward 5 at Woodland Heights Elementary School, 225 Winter St. Extension; and Ward 6 at the Leavitt Park Clubhouse, 334 Elm St.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.