, Newburyport, MA

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July 8, 2011

Warrants issued for former chief


According to court documents, L'Esperance kept the vintage detonator plunger on top of his desk in his police station office. Although both current Salisbury police Chief Richard Merrill and Detective Steven Sforza saw the item on L'Esperance's desk, neither realized it had come from the Plonowski home until Sgt. Robert Roy recalled observing the detonator in Plonowski's cellar during the course of the raid.

The Hells Angels booklet — with Plonowski's name in it — was found in L'Esperance's office desk after he resigned, court documents say. The booklet was also recognized by Salisbury Detective Sgt. Anthony King as being in Plonowski's house along with other Hells Angels material.

The other misdemeanor-level theft charge tied to a crime scene concerns an extension cord and assorted tools taken from the trunk of a vehicle belonging to a Lawrence man, Temmy Ortiz, in January 2007.

L'Esperance is also charged with a felony count of misappropriation of a vehicle that had been donated to the town by local company SPS New England.

According to court documents, L'Esperance in spring 2010 received Harrington's permission to ask SPS, a heavy construction company headquartered in Salisbury, to donate a truck to the town.

In June 2010, SPS owner Phil Capolupo agreed to the request, giving the town a 2001 red Dodge Dakota pickup truck with 387,000 miles on it. According to court documents, L'Esperance picked up the truck, drove it to the Salisbury Fire Department and parked it there, where it stayed for about two months. L'Esperance then drove it to his home in Seabrook, where it was soon picked up by Bryan Fleming, owner of Honks Martin Road Salvage in Amesbury.

According to court documents, L'Esperance gave the truck to Fleming for free without getting Harrington's permission. The vehicle has an estimated Kelly Blue Book value of approximately $2,500. According to court documents, donation of the truck without permission deprived the town of property of substantial value, resulting in the felony larceny charge.

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