Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced today that U. S. District Judge Nancy Torresen, sitting in Portland, sentenced Anthony Foster, a/k/a "John Foster," age 33, of Lewiston, to 40 months imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Foster pled guilty to the charge on September 25, 2012.
According to court records, on August 2, 2012, state and federal agents working on an Operation Hot Spot detail in Lewiston received information that Foster, a convicted felon, was inside an apartment building at 88 Bartlett Street in downtown Lewiston in possession of a pistol that he was showing off to several people. Shortly thereafter, the agents saw Foster leave the building at which time he was apprehended and found in possession of the firearm, a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol loaded with 18 rounds of ammunition.
United States Attorney Delahanty said that the Foster case is the first federally prosecuted case arising out of Operation Hot Spot, which is an initiative of Maine‘s Project Safe Neighborhoods. Operation Hot Spot was designed as a cooperative effort of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to confront and reduce violent crime, drug trafficking and prostitution in Lewiston‘s downtown residential neighborhood. The initiative was conceived as a way to increase safety and improve the living environment for children and families following three separate shooting incidents last May.
The project has been led by Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere; Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Cashman of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA); and Resident Agent-in-Charge Dale Armstrong of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Delahanty praised the cooperation of the departments and agencies who have participated in a variety of enforcement activities as the key to the success of Operation Hot Spot. They include, in addition to the Lewiston Police Department, MDEA and ATF, the Lewiston Housing Authority, Auburn Police Department, Lisbon Police Department, Androscoggin County Sheriff‘s Office, Maine State Police, Maine Department of Corrections (Division of Probation and Community Services), Maine Pretrial Services, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Marshals Service.
These cooperating agencies have conducted a series of coordinated enforcement actions that employed different tactics and strategies since last May. The enforcement details were conducted on a random schedule at different times of day and targeted various activities. The operations have been conducted with the guidance and assistance of the District Attorney's Office for Androscoggin County and the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Maine.
Altogether, there have been 12 coordinated law enforcement activities. In addition, the agencies involved have hosted two well-attended community meetings where residents and business owners have had the opportunity to learn about the Operation Hot Spot objectives, to provide feedback and information and to comment on conditions in the neighborhood. There have been over 60 arrests or summons as a result of the Operation Hot Spot patrols, and 15 firearms have been recovered.