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Ellsworth man indicted on 90 counts burglary, theft

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- An Ellsworth man is facing 90 counts of burglary and theft for his role in a month-long crime spree that targeted 50 victims in four different counties.

Justin Ross was arrested in October, and on Friday, indicted by a grand jury.

"It's 90 counts and we don't usually get that much crime in such a short period of time," said District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

"I've only seen one other time when there was more charges on an indictment," said Ryan Reardon, chief deputy of the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office.

Even investigators were alarmed by the number. They said Ross orchestrated dozens of burglaries between Sept. 1 first and Oct. 2, mostly at camps west of Augusta.

Maloney said it's no surprise the motivation was drugs.

"It's so destructive, the effects of people's addiction to narcotics," said Maloney. "It's so destructive to our communities. We have to work on strategies for dealing with it, because at this point, it's clearly tearing us apart."

Reardon said Ross was working with his girlfriend, and potentially others. He said authorities recovered as many as 900 items, worth $50,000 to $75,000.

"Books, a leather cowboy hat, a toaster under here, a throw rug, picture frames, mirrors, curtains," said Reardon.

In November, victims got the chance to reunite with what they lost.

"It's very satisfying for us to get their stuff back to them, doesn't happen very often," said Reardon.

 Ross is being held at the Kennebec County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 11.