WELLS — The former police chief in Howland was arrested Saturday morning on a warrant out of Penobscot County.

Carl E. Smith, 72, of Eddington is charged with four counts of gross sexual assault, a Class A crime, according to a press release issued Saturday by the Wells Police Department.

The victims are twin 5-year-old girls, according to Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy. He said Saturday in an email that the assaults allegedly took place in the last month.

Smith was the police chief in Howland when he retired in 1988, after being in law enforcement for 18 years, the release said.

He was arrested about 10 a.m. Saturday after checking out of a motel in Wells. Police learned Smith was staying there the previous night but delayed arresting him because he was considered to be armed and dangerous, the release said.

Officers followed Smith when he left the motel and waited until he was in the least populated area of Post and Bypass roads before stopping him, the release said. He was taken into custody without incident, but officers found a loaded .38 caliber snub-nosed pistol in his boot.

Smith was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center for a mental evaluation, the release said. Following that examination, he was to be held without bail at the York County Jail.

If convicted, Smith faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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