LEWISTON — Charles Epps was arrested Tuesday afternoon, charged with violating probation by bringing two Airsoft BB guns to a weekly visit to his probation officer.

Epps, 32, of Lewiston is prohibited from possessing dangerous weapons, including guns. According to court records, conditions are specific: “no possession of BB guns.”

In April, he was charged with violation of probation after testing positive for drugs; the probation was ordered after his conviction of the theft of $1,000 worth of Legos and other goods from Walmart in 2011.

In addition to probation, he was ordered to serve 20 hours of community service on that charge.

According to an affidavit by Lewiston Police Department patrol officer Ryan Rawstron and filed in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Wednesday, police received a call Tuesday afternoon that Epps, who is known as “Scooter,” was walking downtown carrying a black bag with two firearms in it.

“The caller could not tell if they were real or BB guns, but stated that they were made of metal and appeared to be real,” according to Rawstron.


The orange safety tip at the end of each of the Airsoft guns had been removed.

According to the affidavit, less than a month ago, Lewiston Detective Wayne Clifford witnessed Epps standing “on the sidewalk pointing a handgun up to a third-floor apartment window.”

At that time, police determined Epps had an Airsoft pistol with no visible safety markings and seized the gun. And, according to the affidavit, “Epps was warned for his actions.”

After getting the call about Epps carrying guns in the downtown Tuesday, Clifford and Rawstron checked with Maine Pre-Trial Services to locate Epps, and learned that he had just left the Park Street building carrying a black bag with him.

Officers went to Epps’ apartment on Bartlett Street and found Epps’ wife, Jessica Reilly-Epps, and their two youngest children at home. Epps was not there.

According to the affidavit, the apartment was “found to be extremely dirty with the bathroom area covered in what appeared to be vomit and feces on the toilet and floor.”


Police contacted the Department of Health and Human Services and were told the agency would make a home visit.

On Wednesday, Reilly-Epps would not confirm a home visit had been made that day and was not aware of the details of her husband’s arrest. She explained that she and one of her daughters had been sick Tuesday morning and she had not yet cleaned the bathroom when police visited in the afternoon.

Several hours after police left the family’s apartment, Rawstron received a call from Epps’ probation officer, who said Epps was at his office with the black bag “along with two Airsoft BB guns and numerous accessories for them.”

Epps told police the rifle was rated at a velocity of 320 feet per second and can fire accurately over 100 feet, and that the orange safety tips had been removed on both guns to make them appear real.

Epps denied having taken the guns out of the bag anywhere in the downtown and denied “that he flashes these firearms around and pretends that they’re real,” according to the affidavit.

Rawstron included a reference to Epps’ Facebook page that shows a large picture of Epps standing outside his apartment building, in a shooting stance, and holding the same BB gun seized Tuesday.


In June, Epps was indicted for burglary and theft in connection with a break-in at a car near Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He is accused of using a BB gun to break the window of that car and stealing a laptop, sunglasses and other property on April 7.

If convicted, he faces up to 11 years in prison.

In April, after the probation violation for using drugs, Epps was released from jail on $250 cash bail; he is now being held without bail in the Androscoggin County Jail, expected to appear in court later this week.

According to Reilly-Epps, her husband felt comfortable using the guns because his probation officer said it was “OK for him to have the Airsoft guns.”

Epps and Jessica Reilly-Epps moved to Lewiston about 2½ years ago, after living in Georgia and Florida. She is originally from Massachusetts; he is from Detroit.

Epps has criminal histories in Maine and Florida. His first conviction was in Florida in 2000 when he was 19 years old. He was fined $20 on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon.


He was arrested 14 more times in Florida between 2000 and 2005, and convicted of domestic violence, armed robbery, carrying a concealed weapon and violating probation. A number of other charges were dismissed.

In Maine, his criminal history begins in 2011 with a conviction of theft, followed by convictions of criminal mischief and theft through 2013.

The Reilly-Epps family was the subject of a profile in Sunday’s Sun Journal which included an examination of Epps’ criminal background, the chaos of the family’s home life and the plight of their oldest child, 13-year-old Brody Covey.

Covey is facing three counts of felony arson in connection with the first of three unrelated fires that destroyed nine apartment buildings and left 200 people homeless three months ago.

On Wednesday, Reilly-Epps said the facts of the story were not true.

“There was no trash in my apartment,” she said, and the trash that was piled up in the hallways or thrown over exterior porches to the backyard was the actions of others. “That was not us,” she said.


She also said that the assertion by her former landlord and city officials that her family was responsible for breaking newel posts along the stair railings at 105-111 Blake St. was not true. She said a friend of the family had fallen through the posts, breaking them.

She also denied the family was responsible for making holes in the walls of their apartment, and that most holes were there when they moved in. She said her husband’s criminal history has nothing to do with her son.

“This has nothing to do with Brody,” she said.

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