April 728x90TopBanner

Belmont man facing prison sentence for drug sales fails to show up for his sentencing hearing

By BEA LEWIS For The Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — A Belmont man facing a 3 to 7-year prison sentence for drug sales remains on the lam after he ditched his sentencing hearing.

A judge issued an arrest warrant for Joshua Levesque, 26, after he was a no show at the courthouse on Nov. 23. Levesque was scheduled to be sentenced a day earlier and had come to court, but when an overcrowded docket caused the hearing to be continued to the following day, he never came back.

On April 29, Belmont Police Officer Evan Boulanger stopped Levesque for speeding, but after learning there was a warrant for his arrest, took him into custody.

After Levesque refused Boulanger's request to exit the vehicle and was being dragged out as a result of his non-compliance, the officer spotted hypodermic needles and loose cash in $50 and $20 bills in plain sight.

Based on those observation, Boulanger obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and seized $2,043 in cash, methamphetamine and other drugs.

Levesque was charged with possessing the prescription drugs buprenorphine and alprazolam with the intent to distribute, possessing less than an ounce of meth and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

In June, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office filed a petition in Belknap County Superior Court asking a judge to order the forfeiture of the seized cash, asserting that at the time of his arrest, Levesque was not employed and that the absence of any legitimate source of income supports an inference that the large cache of bills were the proceeds of drug trafficking.

As a result of a negotiated plea, brokered between Public Defender Eric Wolpin and Assistant Belknap County Attorney R.J. Meurin, Levesque was expected to receive a minimum prison sentence of 2 years, four months on the two drug distribution charges.

The plea deal called for a 3 to 6-year prison term suspended on the condition of three years' good behavior on the possession charge.

In August, Levesque dodged a fentanyl possession charge after a judge ruled the evidence and allegedly incriminating statements the defendant made was obtained after police unlawfully towed Levesque's car and questioned him without warning him of his rights.

Gilford Police Officer Curtis Mailloux stopped Levesque because the car he was driving had a broken taillight assembly that had been patched with red tape.

As he was standing near the driver's window, the officer testified that he noticed that the windshield was cracked and that the month number on the inspection sticker showed that it had expired more than a year earlier.

When he checked Levesque license status through dispatch, the officer said, he learned it was valid, but was wanted on a warrant issued by Rochester police for willful concealment.

Mailloux arrested Levesque on the warrant, and testified that he made the decision to tow the car as it was unsafe to drive and had not been inspected for more than a year.

Prior to any police-ordered towing, officers conduct a non-investigatory inventory search designed to protect the property
owner from theft by either the police and or the tow company as well as to shield police from false claims being filed against them and/or dangerous items in the vehicle. Nearly all police department have them and most of them are similar and based on provisions in New Hampshire law.

During a July court hearing, Officer Mailloux testified that when Levesque learned he was spending the weekend in jail, he began to cry. When the officer asked the defendant, what was wrong, he allegedly responded he was going to be sick from what he hinted was heroin withdrawal while in jail.

Judge James D. O'Neill III held that while the query may seem innocuous at first blush, police should have known given Levesque's demeanor and physical condition that it would likely elicit a response.

Following the disclosure, police continued to ask Levesque questions after he was told he would be charged with possession of fentanyl as a spoon found in his car had tested positive for the drug. In ruling that Levesque's statements could not be presented to a jury at trial, the judge found that police should have known that the questions would
prompt incriminating statements.

In August, Levesque was indicted for willful concealment as a thirds trike, after previously being convicted of burglary and felony theft.
Laconia Police charge that Levesque tricked the cash register at Wal-Mart by scanning a UPC barcode affixed to his hand to walk out of the store with a tool box and a travel bag valued at $221.24 for less than the advertised price.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 1601

New Marine Patrol HQ building in Glendale named for Dave Barrett

GILFORD — The David T. Barrett Marine Patrol headquarters on Lake Winnipesaukee was officially opened and dedicated Tuesday to man who was the director of the Division of Safety with the New Hampshire Department of Safety from 1993 to 2011. Barrett, a town resident, died in 2011.

About 200 people, including members of Barrett's family, joined Gov. Maggie Hassan, N.H. Commissioner of Public Safety John Barthelmes, State Police Colonel Christopher Wagner and Lieutenant Crystal McLain for the opening of the $9.38-million project at the Glendale docks that took two years to plan and build.

"The naming of the beautiful building is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to serving his country and its citizens," said Barthelmes in his opening remarks.

"He was successful because of his ability to work collaboratively with multiple groups and agencies to promote the lakes and waterways, while protecting the boating public," he said.

The inside of the building contains office space for the ranking officers who work there, two brand-new classrooms for the Marine Patrol to offer its many boating safety classes, a boat storage room with space for evidence, and a counter where people can get boating registrations and information about the Marine Patrol.

Hassan said she was "incredibly proud of all the people who worked across party lines in both branches of government" to get the new facility built.

She said New Hampshire is one of the safest states in the country and its largely because of the men and women like the Marine Patrol who keep our lakes and ocean front safe.

Colonial Christopher Wagner, the new director of Public Safety, recalled the old building on the same site and how it was sinking into the lake. He said the improvements will allow the Marine Patrol, other law enforcement and first responders to better serve the general public.

He said the "Marine Patrol has a very important safety mission both on and off the water. Enforcing boater safety, speed enforcement, accident investigations, water rescues, impaired enforcement, boater education and mooring permitting are some of their responsibilities."

McLain was the project manager who shepherded it from beginning to end and during which time she was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant.

For her efforts and continued excellent work for the Marine Patrol, McLain was given the Distinguished Service Award.

During her brief remarks, she credited Barrett with recognizing the need for a new building and for planting the initial seeds in the minds of the people who could make it happen.

She lauded his promotion of boating safety and his service to his county and the people of New Hampshire.

The David T. Barrett Marine Patrol Headquarters officially opened on Oct. 31 and the storage facility in Belmont and the temporary headquarters in on the old State School property in Laconia are now officially closed.

 

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 813

Cement truck involved in 3-vehicle crash on Rte. 106 in Belmont

BELMONT — Early morning ice on Route 106 led to a collision of three vehicles, including a fully loaded cement truck, and left the three drivers with non-life threatening injuries yesterday.

According to the Belmont Police, the driver of the cement truck lost control while traveling northbound and drifted into the southbound lane just past the Lakes Region Casino. The truck struck a 2013 Chevy Equinox then left the road, slid down an embankment and rolled over as a 1999 Mercury Sable hit the Equinox. The drivers of the truck and the Equinox were both trapped in their vehicles and removed by police officers and firefighters from Belmont and Laconia.

Michael John, 62, who was driving the cement truck, was transported to Concord Hospital. Deborah Valliere, 60, the driver of the Equinox, and James Dupont, 79, the driver of the Sable, were both taken to Lakes Region General Hospital.

The Equinox and Sable were taken from the scene to the Lakes Region Casino while crews from Rusty's Towing worked throughout the morning first to right then to remove the cement truck, which was severely damaged in the crash. The mixer came apart from the truck and emptied some of its seven yards of cement at the foot of the embankment. The road was closed for a spell and after it was reopened traffic was confined to the northbound lane during much of the morning.

Police believe that neither speed nor alcohol contributed to the collisions, which were primarily caused by the icy conditions. The incident remains under investigation and police urge anyone with information about to contact the Belmont Police Department at (603) 267-8350.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 1290

LDS RSS Feed