Homeless pair with long records arrested

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OTISFIELD – A homeless couple with a long history that includes drug and motor vehicle charges were arrested Saturday night in the basement of a home, and their children were turned over to the homeowner.

Joseph A. Denbow, 41, and Tammy J. Duff, 32, and their two small children were found living in a 10- by 10-foot room in the basement of a home at 25 Edythe Lane, Oxford County Deputy Joshua Wyman said.

According to jail records, neither is married nor employed.

Denbow was arrested on a long list of warrants, and Duff on a charge of violating bail conditions. Both remained at the Oxford County Jail on Monday night. Denbow was held on bail of $10,635 cash or $45,000 worth of real estate and Duff without bail until she sees a judge. Wyman said he didn’t expect Denbow to be released soon.

The two children were given to the family who was housing Denbow and Duff. Wyman said the state Department of Health and Human Services will likely investigate the situation.

In a previous incident, Duff and Denbow were charged with theft. A bail condition was they were not allowed to have contact with each other, Wyman said.

Denbow has been charged previously with escape, prompting Wyman and Sgt. Timothy Ontengco to call for help from State Police Trooper Adam Fillebrown and his trained dog on Saturday.

“We took every precaution to make sure we did get him,” Wyman said. “I kind of wonder if he’s tired of running.”

The arrest warrants issued for Denbow include:

• failure to appear in court on charges of operating after suspension and habitual offender operating under the influence;

• theft;

• two counts of violating conditions of release;

• operating after habitual offender revocation;

• two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs;

• having a fictitious vehicle certificate; and

• unpaid fines in Cumberland County for being an habitual motor vehicle offender.

In June, when police were trying to arrest Denbow on several warrants, he jumped into the Little Androscoggin River in Paris to escape. Police later found him hiding in a closet of his Paris home.

Denbow was indicted twice in 2006 on theft, drug possession and motor vehicle charges, and violating conditions of release. The 11th District Court in Paris found him guilty of assault after an incident last May.

Duff has prior arrests on charges of theft, endangering the welfare of a child, unpaid fines, violating bail conditions, obstructing report of a crime and drug possession. She has been convicted of assault and operating after license suspension.

In February 2004, police arrested Duff and Denbow on a charge of unlawful possession of drugs at a Norway home where they were living. Denbow was also charged with endangering the welfare of the two small children present. Two men were also arrested at the home that day and charged with trafficking in cocaine.

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