BRUNSWICK, Maine — A Brunswick police detective is among five current and former troopers honored Tuesday afternoon at the Maine State Police awards ceremony at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Detective William Moir, along with Sgt. Chris Roger and Trooper Jared Stedman of the Maine State Police, received Colonel’s Awards for an investigation that resulted in the arrest of a Chelsea man accused of scamming more than 50 people from Maine to Florida out of nearly $500,000, according to a release from the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Cpl. Christopher Smith of Hancock, an eight-year veteran of the state police in Hancock and Washington counties, was named Trooper of the Year on Tuesday, and retired Lt. Herbert Morse of Hermon was named Legendary Trooper, the highest honor for a state police retiree.
Moir, Rogers and Stedman investigated a case involving Ervin Morrison III, 23, who was arrested in January in Lisbon and charged with multiple counts of theft and motor vehicle violations stemming from incidents investigated by police agencies in Maine and Massachusetts.
Police had searched for Morrison since the summer of 2015 after receiving complaints about Craigslist services or products — firewood, wood pellets, logging, home repair, etc. — that were never delivered, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said at the time.
McCausland said statewide losses were expected to reach $250,000, and Morrison was suspected of crimes as far away as Florida.
Morrison currently faces charges in three counties, as well as federal charges, Moir said by phone Tuesday.
In the fall of 2015, Morrison allegedly scammed a Brunswick businessman into writing him $86,000 in checks for wood pellets he never delivered, according to Moir.
Moir, a Brunswick police officer for nearly 14 years and a detective for more than 10, also assists with computer crimes and fire investigations. He is a member of the department’s special response team and teaches drug abuse resistance education classes at a local school.
Smith of Hancock was named Trooper of the Year on Tuesday. Smith grew up in Machias and joined the state police in 2008 after serving for four years as an officer with the Mount Desert Police, according to the release.
Smith is assigned to Troop J out of Ellsworth, and patrols with his police dog, Winger, the only drug detection dog in the troop.
“Cpl. Smith is one of the best field training officers in the state police with a natural ability [to] instruct younger troopers, and he is a true role model,” Col. Robert Williams, chief of the Maine State Police, said in the release.
Morse, who was named a Legendary Trooper on Tuesday, retired in 2003 after serving with the Maine State Police for 42 years, McCausland said.
Morse was the commanding officer at Troop E in Orono for 27 years. He grew up in Bath and joined the state police in 1961.
“Lt. Morse had an ability to inspire and mentor that forged his leadership legacy guiding scores of troopers,” Maj. Christopher Grotton, who served under Morse for 12 years in Troop E, said in the release. “His sage advice and guidance made a significant impact on my career and many others.”
The state police also honored a number of residents on Tuesday.
Leonard and Rosemary Wallace of Steuben were presented bravery awards for rescuing two small children and a mother whose car careened into a pond in Hancock County in April.
Jason Forgues of Freeport and Paul Oleston of Topsham were presented with special awards of commendation for rescuing a man from his burning truck in Freeport in April.
Trevor Hanna of Oakland and John Dow of Eliot were presented with special awards of commendation for rescuing a young boy from a burning truck in Sidney last December.
The following troopers were also honored:
— Maine State Police Sgt. Chad Fuller and Trooper John Darcy received Bravery Awards for ending an armed standoff with a man in Smyrna in February 2015.
— Troopers Darren Vittum and Chris Hashey received meritorious awards for saving the life of a man who suffered a heart attack in Milford in 2015.
— Trooper Ricci Cote received the Colonel’s Award for arresting 276 drunk drivers over the last eight years, including 50 in 2015.
— Troopers Niles Krech, Adam McNaughton and Elisha Fowlie received Colonel’s Awards for arresting a trio of scam artists from Georgia who were involved in a bad-check-writing scam.
— State police computer crime analyst Dawn Ego received the Colonel’s Award for her work with the FBI to identify a young girl from Canada who had been a victim of child pornography.