Former Howland police chief arrested on gross sexual assault warrants

WELLS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The Wells Police Department arrested former Howland Police chief on four gross sexual assault warrants from Penobscot County Saturday.

Officials say Carl E. Smith, 72 years old of Eddington, was arrested Saturday morning by Wells Police after a joint surveillance with Maine State Police.

Penobscot County District Attorney Christopher Almy said the charges stem from contact with two young girls.

Wells Police were notified by state police late Friday night that they were attempting to locate Smith on the outstanding warrants. Wells Police said they were told Smith rented a hotel room in Wells and that he was armed with a handgun and was considered armed and dangerous.

Officials said they determined that attempting to arrest Smith at the hotel would put the public at undue risk, so Maine State Police set up around the hotel until around 4 a.m. Saturday. The Wells Police Department also joined in on surveillance.

Police say at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Smith checked out of the hotel and traveled north bound on Post Rd., followed by Wells Police in an unmarked vehicle.

Sargent Wilson of the Wells Police Department said officers waited until Smith was in the least populated area of Post Rd. and Bypass Rd. and conducted a felony traffic stop. Wilson said extra precaution was taken because of the potential for weapons involvement. Officers blocked the north and south bound traffic for a short time until Smith was safely taken into custody, without incident.

Officials said a loaded Colt .38 Special snub nose pistol was located in Smith's boot during a search.

Wells police say Smith has served in law enforcement officer for 18 years, with the last 13 years as Police Chief in Howland Officials said Smith was also in the military for 32 years.

Smith was denied bail and was transported to Southern Maine Medical Center for mental evaluations. If he is released from SMMC by the end of the weekend, his first court appearance is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.


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