July 19, 2013

NY man arrested after scuffle in court

Kennebec Journal Staff

AUGUSTA -- A New York man arrested after fighting with police inside a courtroom has been charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking.

Allen Jamel James Jr., 31, of Manhattan, N.Y., was arrested on eight counts of aggravated trafficking in heroin and crack cocaine.

The charges are aggravated because of previous felony drug convictions in New York, Commander Darrell Crandall of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, said in a news release.

James is also charged with resisting arrest after physically confronting officers attempting to arrest him inside a courtroom at Kennebec County Superior Court.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agents have been watching James for a few months and bought cocaine and heroin on several occasions as part of their investigation, according to Crandall.

Agents arrested James Thursday inside the large courtroom at Kennebec County Superior Court, where James had arrived to help another man with bail. James was sitting with a small group of people when Kennebec County Sheriff's Deputy Emily Childs, in full uniform, approached him and asked him to step out of the courtroom, according to a court affidavit filed by Maine DEA Special Agent Daniel Ames. James and the man he was with said Childs had mistaken his identity.

"Deputy Childs then spoke directly to the male whom she knew to be Allen James from my description," Ames wrote. "James was very hostile towards Deputy Childs."

James reportedly swore at Childs and refused several times to leave the courtroom. Both men stood and faced off with Childs, who told James that there was a warrant for his arrest and ordered him to put his hands behind his back, Ames wrote.

He began to move away and Childs grabbed his arm, according to Ames.

James continued to pull and thrash his body to break free of Childs, at which point Ames and Kennebec County Sheriff Deputy Josh Hardy arrived to assist.

James continued to struggle with deputies until he was eventually cuffed.

Initial reports he was armed turned out to be unfounded.

"James continued to scream and holler the entire time," Ames wrote.

James' protests continued Friday as he made his initial court appearance via teleconference in Augusta District Court.

Police said James has a number of aliases, including Bones, but James denied using any false names. "All these charges are bogus," James said. "There's a mistaken identity going on."

Judge Beth Dobson ordered James to be held at the Kennebec County jail on $100,000 cash bail or $50,000 cash if he is able to secure a Maine Pre-Trial contract.

James bristled at the amount.

"I don't have that money. Nobody has that money," James protested. "All I am asking for is reasonable bail so I can fight my charges."

Assistant Attorney General William Savage argued for a high bail because of James' criminal history in Connecticut and New York, which includes felony drug convictions, and his attempt to avoid arrest on Thursday.

James claimed he has lived the past six years with his wife and children on Mount Vernon Road, but Savage argued that James was a flight risk because of his New York roots and his apparently tenuous connection to Maine.

"We are unaware of any contact in Maine, other than to sell drugs," Savage said.

Craig Crosby -- 621-5642
ccrosby@mainetoday.com

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