According to the American Journal, Abbas Al-Hamdany, a co-owner of Friendly Discount on Main Street, was arrested by the Westbrook police this afternoon for trafficking cocaine.
Al-Hamdany, an Iraqi native who served federal jail time for a similar arrest ten years ago, has gained some notoriety over the last five years as one of the Press Herald's go-to guys for American-Iraqi reaction to events occurring in that country since the American invasion in March 2003.
A quick search on Maine Marvel! also yielded another nugget: The Westbrook City Council approved (6-2) the renewal of Friendly Discount's license to sell tobacco and food in May 2002, despite Al-Hamdany's wife incorrectly reporting on an application that her husband had not been convicted of a felony in the previous three years (she argued her mistake was an honest one, since she based her answer on the date the crime had occurred instead of the date of his conviction). The Westbrook Police subsequently dropped charges accusing the couple of falsifying information.
(Update: Proving once again that he's eager to fill the media vacuum vacated by former Portland Police Chief "Media" Mike Chitwood, Westbrook Police Chief "Bustlin'" Bill Baker invited the media to witness Al-Hamdany's arrest yesterday afternoon. However, a photograph of Al-Hamdany's perp walk, which figured prominently on page four of this morning's Press Herald, is not online.)
- John C.L. Morgan