DENMARK — Four people were arrested Friday morning on charges of kidnapping, threatening and assaulting a man earlier in the week.

Police arrested Joseph B. Brown, 49, and Constance M. Brown, 38, of Spike Ridge Road in Denmark, along with Constance’s 18-year-old son, Matthew Peavey and Richard E. Barden Jr., 23, of Rocky Knoll Road in Denmark.

Constance Brown, Barden and Peavey were charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault against Joshua Mullins of Conway, N.H., who is in his 20s, Lt. Walter Grzyb of the Maine State Police said. Joseph Brown was charged with criminal threatening. The Browns and Peavey had made bail by Friday afternoon.

According to an affidavit by Trooper Adam Fillebrown of the Maine State Police, Mullins told police he went to Barden’s residence on Sunday evening after ordering a half-ounce of marijuana and was confronted by Constance Brown and Peavey. Mullins said his knife, pepper spray and cell phone were taken away from him and he was forced to get into a car.

According to the affidavit:

Mullins told police Constance Brown was given a nine-round .22-caliber revolver by the driver of another vehicle at an intersection and pointed it at Mullins’ head. He said he was taken to a friend’s house to get money to pay Barden, then was met at a store by Joseph Brown before the group returned to Barden’s residence.

Mullins said Joseph Brown pointed a high-point 9mm handgun at his head before he was beaten in the head with fists and the gun. Mullins said he was allowed to leave and followed into Conway, where he sold a backpack for $150. He said he gave the money to Barden, who gave him gas money to get home.

Mullins checked himself into a hospital on Monday and called police. In a second interview, Mullins said he lied about getting money from a friend and admitted to stealing a bag of marijuana from Joseph Brown. He said Joseph accused him of taking three pounds of marijuana.

During the second interview, Mullins said that he sold an ounce of the stolen marijuana rather than a backpack to get the money. He also admitted that he had formerly sold marijuana for the Browns.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Maine State Police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigated the case during the week and served search warrants on the Browns’ and Barden’s residences shortly before 6 a.m. Friday. The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Warden Service and Conway Police Department helped serve the warrants.

The State Police Tactical Team assisted with serving the warrant on the Browns’ residence and arrested Peavey when he arrived at the house, McCausland said. Police found marijuana and nine firearms at the Browns’ residence, McCausland said.

Lt. Walter Grzyb of the Maine State Police said the focus of the search was on gathering evidence related to the kidnapping and assault, but that the MDEA might pursue charges related to drug trafficking. The Federal Bureau of Investigation could become involved in the case because it involves the crossing of state lines, Grzyb said.


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