A former Maine man who abandoned tons of manufacturing waste in Warren years ago and later pleaded guilty to defrauding an Indigenous tribe in Michigan was charged Monday with falsely claiming he had been shot during a robbery in Virginia.

Police arrested 69-year-old Chester Dunican following a shooting on Feb. 15. Dunican, of Waterford, Connecticut, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm in public and making a false police report, the Arlington County Police Department announced Tuesday.

He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

The shooting occurred two weeks before he was to be sentenced in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 14 but was delayed when Dunican claimed he couldn’t attend because of car problems.

The shooting in Virginia occurred the following day. The Michigan court has not said whether the sentencing will be postponed.

Arlington police said Dunican told police that he was approached by an unknown male wearing a ski mask who demanded his wallet and shot him.


Detectives found numerous inconsistencies in Dunican’s account of the incident, and determined he had shot himself and tried to make it appear like an attempted robbery, police said. He was taken into custody on Feb. 27, after his release from the hospital.

Dunican faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in October to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in Michigan.

The conviction stems from Dunican’s position seven years ago as chief executive officer of an economic development corporation created by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. He and a co-conspirator defrauded the tribe by selling them water dispensers and other equipment at inflated prices and pocketed the difference.

In 1997, Dunican and his wife, Kathleen Dunican, bought land off Route 90 in Warren, Maine, and announced they were building a rifle range there. Dunican said he needed to accept polyester fiber scrap from an Auburn manufacturer to create berms for the range.

The Dunicans were paid an estimated $1 million from Gates Formed-Fibre to accept the material.

The Dunicans abandoned the property after accepting more than 27,000 tons of waste and plans for the massive rifle range did not materialize. Years later, residents finally agreed to foreclose and take ownership of the land after reaching an agreement with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that the town would not be liable for cleaning up the waste.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story