, Newburyport, MA

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July 8, 2011

Warrants issued for former chief

SALISBURY — Warrants were issued yesterday for the arrest of former Salisbury police chief David L'Esperance on felony larceny charges related to thefts during his four-year tenure at the Salisbury Police Department.

L'Esperance, 51, formerly of Seabrook, now of Lynn, is charged in the warrants with two felony counts of larceny of property worth more than $250 and two misdemeanor counts of larceny of property worth less than $250.

According to court documents, one felony larceny count and both misdemeanor larceny counts relate to L'Esperance stealing items from two different crime scenes.

The arrest warrants — issued in Newburyport District Court from charges brought by Salisbury police — stem from information unearthed during two extensive investigations into the Police Department conducted by former Salem police Chief Robert St. Pierre, Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington said.

"At this stage, the town believes we have done our due diligence, and now the matter is in the hands of the criminal justice system," Harrington said. "I'm hopeful District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and the powers that be will utilize whatever resources are at their disposal to prosecute the case to the full extent of the law."

On Jan. 18, in the midst of St. Pierre's first investigation, L'Esperance retired from police work, effectively resigning as Salisbury's chief. An attorney, L'Esperance has since reopened his law office in Lynn.

L'Esperance is charged with taking from an April 2007 crime scene a World War II-era detonator plunger device worth more than $250 (a felony), as well as a Hells Angels booklet worth less than $250, (a misdemeanor). Both items were taken from the former home of David Plonowski, 28 Pike St., Salisbury.

Plonowski was arrested on April 9, 2007, after numerous firearms, explosives, explosive parts, ammunition and other weaponry, some of which were vintage, as well as drugs, money, magazines and books related to weaponry, were found to be illegally stored at the Pike Street home.

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