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Former Howland police chief arrested in Wells on sexual assault charges

WELLS (WGME) -- After an all-night stakeout, a former police chief from the Penobscot County town of Howland was arrested in Wells on an arrest warrant for gross sexual assault Saturday morning.

Carl E. Smith, of Eddington, was staying at a hotel in Wells, and Maine State Police asked Wells police to track Smith down. Police found Smith but held off on making the arrest until he left to avoid putting the public at risk because Smith was believed to be armed, police said.

After Smith left the hotel at 10 a.m., police followed him to a lesser populated area in the area of Post Road and Bypass Road and made the arrest arrest. Police say he was carrying a handgun in his boot. Smith was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center for a mental evaluation and is being held at the York County Jail without bail.

He is charged with four counts of gross sexual assault in Penobscot County, but police have not said what led to the charge.

Smith worked in law enforcement for 18 years. In 1998, he retired after 13 years as Howland's police chief. Smith was also in the military for 32 years.