MACHIAS — The former longtime chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe police department has pleaded guilty to charges of stealing more than $33,000 in tribal accounts to feed his gambling habit.

Joseph Barnes of Pleasant Point pleaded guilty today in Washington County Superior Court to taking the money between April 2007 and May 2008.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said the 42-year-old Barnes used the money to feed a gambling habit in Connecticut and Louisiana.

Barnes, who resigned as chief in late 2008, received the National Native American Law Enforcement Association’s Chief of Police of the Year Award in 2006 for his crackdown on drug dealing on his eastern Maine Indian reservation.

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