WATERVILLE — Police on Tuesday released the names of two men arrested on firearms charges Saturday in an undercover operation.

Deputy police Chief Charles Rumsey said two weapons believed to have been stolen from homes in Fayette and Litchfield were seized from the men, Ronald Wilson, 35, of 351 Augusta Road, Rome; and David Berube, Jr., 34, of 88 Weeks Road, Gardiner.

Officials from five agencies were involved in the arrest, which happened just after 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Home Depot. A third man was taken into custody but was later released after the district attorney decided against charging him, according to Rumsey.

The investigation into the stolen guns has been going on for several weeks, Rumsey said.

Rumsey said an undercover officer bought two guns from the men — a Ruger .22 caliber revolver and a 9 millimeter Browning handgun — and police confirmed the guns were stolen from homes in Fayette and Litchfield.

Both burglaries happened within the last three weeks, he said.

While the undercover officer was buying the handguns, other police were in the area monitoring the operation, Rumsey said.

“As soon as the undercover officer got possession of those two firearms and got out of the area, our units moved in and took the three people into custody,” he said.

At the time, two of the men were in a red 1995 Subaru station wagon owned by Wilson. The other man was taken into custody a short distance from the car, he said.

Waterville police and officials from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office took part in the operation, with help from Fairfield and Oakland police. Two state troopers were positioned on Interstate 95 to stop the Subaru if it left the parking lot, according to Rumsey.

The three men cooperated immediately with police, who were concerned there were other weapons in the car, Rumsey said. No other weapons were found, he said.

Wilson, a convicted felon, was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, a class C felony, according to Rumsey. He was convicted of class A felony robbery April 27, 2010, in Kennebec County Superior Court, he said.

Wilson also was charged on Saturday with unlawful possession of suboxone, a drug used to treat opiate addiction, Rumsey said. He said Wilson was on probation at the time of his arrest, so a probation hold was placed on him.

Berube was charged Saturday with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He was convicted of class C heroin possession Nov. 19, 2009, in Kennebec County Superior Court, Rumsey said. His bail was set Saturday at $2,500 cash.

Both men were taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta and are scheduled to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. March 13, he said.

Sheriff’s department officials and state police are working together on the burglaries, and additional charges against the men are possible as the burglary investigation continue, he said.

He said he was pleased with how efficiently and swiftly the arrests were made and the Subaru taken away from the parking lot.

“The units that were monitoring the transaction that took place were in full view of the suspects’ vehicle,” he said. “When the undercover officer cleared away from the vehicle and the plainclothes officers moved in to take that vehicle down, it was done very rapidly — very safely. We were basically there in a second and had these people under arrest and within several minutes, had the vehicle towed from the scene.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]


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