PORTLAND – The girlfriend of the man who shot and killed a resident of the Allen Pond Campground in Greene last summer has pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges stemming from the incident.

Michelle Hamel, 28, of Lewiston pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Friday to being a drug user who possessed a gun later used in a homicide. She could face up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.

A date has not yet been set for sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Dilworth said Hamel used cocaine, heroin and Oxycontin with her 31-year-old live-in boyfriend, Anthony Vellaro. The couple had planned to move to Florida and were living last summer at the Allen Pond Campground until their move.

At the campground, their drug use escalated and Vellaro began hallucinating, he said.

On the evening of July 17, 2002, Vellaro told Hamel there was a ghost in the couple’s pickup truck and said he would stay up all night to protect her, Dilworth said. The next morning, while Hamel was still asleep, Vellaro took the semi-automatic pistol that Hamel had bought for protection in 2001. He went to Aaron Devoe’s campsite next door and shot Devoe three times in the chest, killing him.

Vellaro fled the scene. After a five-day manhunt, his body was discovered in Allen Pond.

Police believe he drowned.

After a lengthy investigation, Hamel was indicted in January on federal firearms charges.

She has been released on bail pending sentencing.



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