MACHIAS, Maine - A 19-year-old Beals Island man being held in connection with a lobster boat joy ride around the harbor made his first appearance in Washington County Superior Court on Monday.
Kenneth Chandler was charged with four counts of aggravated criminal mischief, Class C, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Joelle Pratt said Monday. If convicted, Chandler could face up to five years in prison on each count.
Attorney Jeff Davidson of East Machias represented Chandler.
In May, a local lobsterman called authorities after finding the Lisa Marie, a 31-foot lobster boat owned by Larry Crowley, damaged, abandoned and spinning in circles in Moosabec Reach, a channel off Jonesport.
U.S. Coast Guard and state Marine Patrol officials called Crowley, who told them he had not given anyone permission to use his boat. Since no one was found on the boat, authorities initially feared its operator might have gone overboard.
After an unsuccessful search of the area, efforts shifted to a vandalism investigation, in part because the Lisa Marie had collided with at least five other boats in the harbor and crashed into a dock, causing about $50,000 in damage.
Chandler was arrested at his home on Beals Island.
Pratt said the matter could be presented to the Washington County grand jury in September.