Local & Regional Briefs: Friday, March 14

Maine Man Sentenced In N.H. Cyber Stalking

Concord (ap) — A Maine man will spend nearly three years in prison for attempting to extort a New Hampshire woman using sexually explicit photos of her stored on a laptop he stole from her.

Federal officials said 23-year-old John Bryan Villegas, of Kittery, Maine, was sentenced to 33 months in prison Thursday in U.S. District Court in Concord.

Villegas pleaded guilty to a cyber-stalking crime known as “sextortion,” U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said. Officials said Villegas stole the woman’s laptop during a burglary, then threatened to send explicit images to her neighbors and friends if she did not send him sexually explicit pictures and video of herself. He pleaded guilty to the federal charge in September.

Nashua Police Order School Lockdowns, Arrest Suspects

Nashua, n.h. (Nashua Telegraph) — Nashua police placed two people in custody and locked down area schools Wednesday afternoon after responding to what was reported as a nearby possible burglary or armed home invasion.

Police responded to a residence near Manchester St. about 2 p.m. after a caller reported three men leaving the building, two of them with guns. The men fled from officers, jumping fences and running toward Concord Street, police said.

One of the men was found on Concord Street and charged with resisting arrest and resisting detention. A second was arrested on unrelated charges and police were still speaking with the third man later Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Former AG to Probe Delay in Reporting UNH Athletics Misconduct

Durham, n.h. (Foster’s Daily Democrat) — Former N.H. Attorney General Michael Delaney will lead an investigation into alleged misconduct in the University of New Hampshire athletics department, officials announced Wednesday.

Delaney, of the Manchester-based McLane Law Firm, will focus on the aftermath of a Jan. 20 incident in Burlington, Vt., in which former UNH basketball staffer Scott Weitzell was accused of taking cell phone images of UNH players in the locker room.

In particular, the investigation will try to determine why it took a month for the locker room incident to be reported to officials. UNH says it first learned of the incident on Feb. 20 and fired Weitzell a few days later.

Weitzell, 50, of Newmarket, worked as the part-time UNH director of basketball operations for 12 years before he was fired last month.

N.H. House Eases Pot Law

Concord (Nashua Telegraph) — New Hampshire decriminalized possession of marijuana under a bill that cleared the House Wednesday.

The 215-92 vote — which needs to pass the Senate — would end jail time for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

Fines would be up to $100 except for those younger than 18, who would be ordered to attend a substance abuse education program and do community service.

Currently, possession can carry up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.