Traffic stop nets illegal knives

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RUMFORD – No charges are expected to be filed against a Mountain Valley High School student after police found illegal knives concealed in his car during a traffic-stop search.

Instead, police are leaving the matter in the hands of the boy’s family.

“We’re confident they’ll handle this within the family. Obviously, with kids, that’s the goal,” Patrolman Mark Cayer said Friday afternoon.

His investigation revealed that the boy’s father bought a large switchblade knife and a butterfly knife off the Internet for another son for his extensive collection of knives but didn’t realize the two weapons are illegal in Maine.

“The father said the site on the Internet listed the states in which the knives were illegal, and Maine wasn’t one of them, so, he assumed they were legal,” he added.

In Maine, a person is guilty of trafficking in dangerous knives if he or she knowingly possesses, displays, offers, sells, lends, manufactures, or buys any knife with a blade that opens or falls or is ejected into position by gravity or movement, or one that opens automatically by hand pressure on a button, spring or other device in the handle. It is a Class D crime.

“The law was created, because these knives can be so dangerous in the hands of people who want to hurt others,” Cayer said.

He found the knives hidden in a compartment under the console in the older boy’s car after stopping it for having bad tires at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on Hancock Street.

Cayer said that suspicious activity on the boy’s part led to the search and seizure, although the boy “immediately said the knives were not his.”

After the father learned the knives were illegal here, Cayer said the man went through his son’s knife collection, found several other spring-loaded knives and dismantled them.

Police won’t be returning the two seized knives.

“It’s always the goal of the Rumford Police Department to ensure that citizens have a feeling of safety in their community. Anytime we can take these types of weapons off the street, that will help our goal,” Cayer said.

The butterfly knife, which is also known as a Balisong knife, so named for the Philippine town in which it originated, and the switchblade with its bright blue handle, are uncommon weapons in the River Valley area.

“There’s only been two other cases in the past, but, we don’t find all of them either,” Cayer added.

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