Jury selection will begin Jan. 7 in federal court in Portland for the trial of a Springvale resident who was the subject of an intense FBI manhunt in November.

Joshua Patrick Weldon, 26, was arrested by the FBI in Alfred on Aug. 13 on a charge of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. The charge alleges that Weldon and others conspired to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing fentanyl between April and July 13 in York County.

Court documents reveal that three other suspects linked to the same case have also been charged and are awaiting trial.

Joshua Weldon

Weldon had been held in federal custody on the drug charge until he was released by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine on Oct. 23 on a $10,000 unsecured bond, provided he reside at a sober house and be subject to pretrial supervision.

According to the FBI, Weldon failed to fulfill the terms of his release from custody. He did not show up at a sober house on Oct. 24 as mandated and he skipped an appointment at the U.S. Probation Office on Oct. 25.

A warrant was issued for Weldon’s arrest for allegedly violating the order setting forth the conditions of his release.

He continued to elude the FBI and police while on the run. On Nov. 6, Sanford police said they saw Weldon driving and tried to stop him, but he raced away at a high speed, left the vehicle and fled on foot. The FBI said that while a police dog was tracking Weldon, he got a ride to a Springvale apartment, where he smashed the glass of the front door after he was refused entry and then fled.

On Nov. 14, Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division which includes all of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, asked the public for help in determining Weldon’s whereabouts and the FBI offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to his capture. Shaw urged the public to be cautious if they spotted the fugitive and described Weldon as “armed and dangerous.”

The FBI’s Southern Maine Gang Task Force, the Sanford Police Department, Maine State Police and the York County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the investigation.

After a number of possible reported sightings in Sanford and Rochester, New Hampshire, Weldon was taken into custody by police outside The Depot, a convenience store on Pleasant Street in Springvale, on Nov. 16.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge John H. Rich revoked Weldon’s bail and rescheduled his trial on the drug charges to January. His original trial date had been set for December before he fled and became a fugitive.

If convicted on the drug charge, Weldon faces between five and 40 years in prison. He also will be subject to a further sentence for violating the terms of his release.

Ed Pierce can be contacted at 282-1535 or at:

[email protected]


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