Maine man once arrested for gun tattoo pleads guilty to drug charge

BOWDOINHAM Maine Thu Sep 4, 2014 7:19pm EDT

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BOWDOINHAM Maine (Reuters) - A Maine man arrested by heavily armed police officers after a gun tattoo on his belly was mistaken for a weapon has pleaded guilty to unrelated drug charges after a second arrest in which he was carrying an actual gun.

Michael Smith, 41, of Norridgewock, Maine, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to illegal possession of suboxone strips, a drug used to treat opiate addiction.

Police said Smith had stolen the strips from a former girlfriend.

He was ordered to pay a $400 fine and enroll in a substance abuse counseling program, according to the Somerset County district attorney’s office.

In March, the story and photos of Smith’s life-like tattoo went viral when a crew of arborists cutting trees outside his house called police, saying an angry shirtless man with a gun had threatened them.

Minutes later, a police SWAT team surrounded Smith’s house in Norridgewock, in rural central Maine, only to discover that the gun was in fact a tattoo.

Smith told police he’d worked the nightshift and was trying to get some sleep when he was awoken by the crew and hollered at them.

No charges were filed at the time.

(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman)

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