Governor LePage issues warrant in Gottke case

12 years ago

    HOULTON — Benjamin Gottke was arrested on Friday, Sept. 28, on a Governor’s Warrant issued by Governor Paul LePage. Gottke was previously arrested on July 14, by the Houlton Police Department as a fugitive from justice out of the state of Louisiana after he escape from confinement there and drove a stolen vehicle to Houlton.
    Gottke refused to waive extradition and has been held at the Aroostook County Jail since his arrest awaiting the issuance of the Governor’s Warrant.
    “While many fugitives readily waive the extradition process, when a fugitive contests the extradition it requires the cooperation of many government agencies both here and in Louisiana,” said Kurt Kafferlin, assistant district attorney. “By the time the process is complete Gottke’s case will have gone across many desks. In addition to Governors Bobby Jindal and Paul LePage, the extradition has required the work of the Houlton Police Department, the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department, the Aroostook County District Attorney’s Office, the Maine Attorney General’s Office, the Tensas Parish Sheriff’s Department, the Tensas Parish District Attorney’s Office and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.”
    Gottke appeared Monday before a judge at which time he was advised of his rights under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act.
    “Having now been arrested on the Governor’s Warrant, Gottke will have seven days to file a petition contesting his extradition,” Kafferlin said. “Should he choose to do so he would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is not a fugitive out of Louisiana as has been certified by Governor Bobby Jindal. Either after the hearing or after the seven days if Gottke fails to file a petition contesting the extradition then he may be removed from the state. The Tensas Parish Sheriff’s Department will have to arrange to come and get him at that point.
    “I am very grateful for the work of all of those in the eight other government agencies, both here in Maine and in Louisiana, who have done their work in ensuring that Mr. Gottke is returned to the State of Louisiana,” Kafferlin continued. “Everybody did their part and we will end up with the proper result. Mr. Gottke’s summer sojourn to Maine will be over soon and he will be headed back to Louisiana to face prosecution there.”