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Spofford Associate Charged in NHPR Vandalism Case

Federal charges filed against Eric Labarge in the New Hampshire Public Radio vandalism investigation draw the case closer to Granite Recovery Centers founder Eric Spofford, Labarge’s close associate and NHPR antagonist.

NHJournal was the first outlet in the state to connect Labarge to the vandalism investigation. 

Spofford is suing the station, NHPR reporter Lauren Chooljian, NHPR News Director Dan Barrick, and others for defamation after the broadcaster aired stories last year in which women accused him of sexual misconduct, including assault. 

Eric Spofford speaks to his attorney Michael Strauss last year during a break in a hearing on Spofford’s ongoing defamation lawsuit against NHPR.

A month after the report first aired, Chooljian, Barrick, and their families had their houses vandalized. On Friday, Federal prosecutors with the Massachusetts Attorney’s Office in Boston announced Labarge, 46, and three other New Hampshire men had been indicted for their roles in the vandalism.

According to a statement issued by prosecutors, Labarge agreed to coordinate the frightening vandalism campaign against the journalists with Tucker Cockerline, 32, of Salem, Michael Waselchuck, 35, of Seabrook, and Keenan Saniatan, 36, of Nashua after the story was released.

Spofford has not been charged in the vandalism investigation, and has denied any role in the crimes.

Prosecutors describe Labarge as Spofford’s “close personal associate.” Spofford’s attorney, Michael Strauss, did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment on the charges against Labarge. Previously, Spofford gave a supportive statement about Labarge.

“I worked closely with Eric Labarge to help him overcome his addiction in the early days of his sobriety,” Spofford said. “I’ve had the opportunity to watch him grow through the ups and downs of recovery for almost ten years. He’s done great things for the recovery community, and I believe he will continue to for years to come.”

Like Spofford, Labarge owns several recovery centers in New Hampshire. Labarge also has a criminal history that includes violence against women attempted murder. He’s currently facing trial in an assault case in Manchester.

According to court records, On or about April 22, 2022, Labarge solicited Cockerline to vandalize Chooljian’s former home in Hanover, using a brick and red spray paint. On the evening of April 24, 2022, Cockerline allegedly spray-painted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on the front door and allegedly threw a brick through an exterior window of the home.

On or about April 22, 2022, Saniatan allegedly agreed to vandalize Barrick’s home in Concord, and Chooljian’s parents’ home in Hampstead, using large rocks and red spray paint. After that, on the evening of April 24, 2022, Saniatan allegedly spray painted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on the front door and threw a large rock at the exterior of Barrick’s home; and he allegedly threw a softball-sized rock through a front exterior window and spray painted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on one of the garage doors of Chooljian’s parents’ home.

On or about May 18, 2022, Labarge allegedly solicited Cockerline to vandalize Chooljian’s parents’ home in Hampstead, and Chooljian’s home in Melrose, Massachusetts, using bricks and red spray paint. Cockerline, in turn, allegedly recruited Waselchuck to vandalize Chooljian’s residence.

On the evening of May 20, 2022, Cockerline allegedly spraypainted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on one of the garage doors of Chooljian’s parents’ home, and left a brick on the ground near the front door. Several hours later, Waselchuck allegedly threw a brick through an exterior window of Chooljian’s home and painted the phrase “JUST THE BEGINNING” in large red letters on the front of the house.

The men are all charged with conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and/or the use of a facility of interstate commerce. Each charge in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution.

Sununu Mocks Manchester Visit by ‘Infomercial Guy’ Lindell

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell may be a rock star on the fringe right, but Gov. Chris Sununu tells NHJournal he is not impressed.

“New Hampshire isn’t interested in debunked political conspiracy theories from some infomercial guy. Our citizens can sleep easy knowing that our elections were safe, secure, reliable, and accurate – just as they are every year,” Sununu said Monday.

That stands in stark contrast to Lindell, who claims the Granite State presidential election was stolen by Chinese computer hackers and corrupted vote-counting machines that switched more than 50,000 votes.

Lindell, best known for his non-stop TV ads on Fox News and out-there theories about COVID-19 and the 2020 election, is bringing his conspiracy roadshow to Manchester’s Doubletree Hotel Wednesday morning. The New Hampshire state House of Representatives will convene at the same hotel, due to COVID concerns, that morning.

According to an email sent by state Rep. Susan Homola (R-Hollis), legislators and town officials are invited to “a presentation on the latest tools, techniques, and technology advancements in election security. This presentation is being hosted by Mike Lindell, and it is intended to be a forward-looking discussion on emerging election methods and supporting hardware.”

Homola declined to respond to multiple requests for comment, nor would she name any local organizers or participants. For a social media savvy figure like Lindell, there are virtually no mentions of the upcoming event, which is not open to the public.

Lindell, who is facing multiple lawsuits for his outlandish claims about voting machine companies, remains adamant that Donald Trump won a major popular vote victory in 2020, despite the available evidence to the contrary.

This won’t be the first time Lindell’s pitched his view of American politics in the Granite State.

“China picked our winners” in the 2020 election, Lindell told the group 603 Alliance during a speech in Manchester last August. “Everybody knows it — 100 percent this election was stolen,” Lindell said. “It was stolen by machines,” he added. “There had to be some kind of algorithm because it went across all states.”

And yes that includes New Hampshire’s election which, despite the work of then-Sec. of State Bill Gardner, Lindell claims was stolen by the Chinese Communist Party. Lindell declared that rather than losing the state by eight points (425,000 t0 366,000), Trump won the Granite State, 410,000 to 375,000 votes.

 “He crushed New Hampshire, he crushed it,” Lindell claimed.

Lindell’s latest project is making pillows for the truck drivers protesting in Canada.

“All of our employees are busy making pillows right now for the truckers in Canada,” Lindell told an interviewer over the weekend. “We’re going to try and get them through. I’m not going to say what day or you know there will be obstructionists.”