LEWISTON — One day after a Minot man promised to stay out of trouble for the next two years in exchange for a favorable plea agreement stemming from an armed robbery in Poland, he committed new crimes, authorities said.

Isaiah Strong-Gassama, 20, was back in court after he pleaded guilty to a reduced felony plea with the understanding that he would be allowed to withdraw that plea in April 2020 and be sentenced instead on a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor had told the judge that the District Attorney’s Office had agreed to the lenient terms because the defendant hadn’t brandished the handgun used during the robbery, he had told the truth about what had happened and had no prior criminal record.

On May 22, he entered into a deferred disposition agreement where he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated criminal trespass, a charge punishable by up to five years in prison, and receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail.

He was told he wouldn’t be sentenced on those charges for two years if, during that time, he were to not have any illegal drugs or marijuana, perform 150 hours of community service, be enrolled in school or be employed and not have any contact with four co-defendants or the victim. If called to testify against one of his co-defendants at trial, he would have to be truthful, according to his plea terms.

If he were to have met those conditions, he would have been allowed to return to court in April 2020 and withdraw his plea to the felony. A judge would sentence him to six months in jail on the misdemeanor to which he pleaded and to a concurrent six months on an additional misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass, to which he would plead. Small-Gassama would be credited for the six months he had spent in jail awaiting the outcome of his robbery charge.

According to documents in 8th District Court, a deputy at the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department arrested Strong-Gassama on May 23 and he was charged with eluding an officer, driving to endanger, operating without a license, improper plates and violation of condition of release.

He had an initial court appearance on May 25 on the new charges and has been held without bail pending a court date on June 14 on the state’s motion to revoke bail.

His plea agreement is now in jeopardy due to the May 23 charges.

The robbery charge stemmed from an October robbery in Poland. Prosecutors said, had that case gone to trial, an Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office detective would have testified that his office investigated a reported robbery at the Empire Road home of then-19-year-old Devon Bailey who called 911.

Four men and a woman had come to his home in a car and accused him of slashing tires on vehicles in the Poland and Minot area, he told deputies.

After entering the home, Small and two other men were standing in the kitchen when Small pulled a silver .357-caliber revolver from his waistband and pointed it at the teen, one of the men told the detective. Strong-Gassama had stood behind the victim.

Small told the teen, “You’d better not be lying or this could get messy.”

Strong-Gassama took the phone of the victim, who tried to show on his phone that he was telling the truth. The teen denied slashing any tires.

Strong-Gassama and two co-defendants went into the basement in search of marijuana. One of them took a jar of marijuana and pipes before leaving the home. Small took a Sony PlayStation 3, one of the men told authorities. The teen’s iPhone also was taken by someone in the group.

All items except the cellphone were later recovered.

[email protected]

Isaiah Strong-Gassama (Sun Journal file photo)


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.