inside sources print logo
Get up to date New Hampshire news in your inbox

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.

Inmate Stacie Laughton Housed in Male Population, Jail Official Confirms

After days of evasion — and under pressure from public officials hearing from a concerned public — Hillsborough County jail officials confirmed to NHJournal Thursday that former Democratic state Rep. Stacie Marie Laughton is being “housed in a male unit.”

The information was released the same day Laughton — a biological male who identifies as a woman — was indicted on new federal charges in a child daycare pornography case. The graphic details of the alleged crimes — involving children under the age of five — have left many in the Granite State stunned.

On Thursday, a grand jury handed up indictments against Laughton, 39, and lover Lindsay Groves, 38, on three counts each of sexual exploitation of children. Groves is also charged with one count of distributing child pornography.

Laughton additionally faces state charges of distributing child sex abuse images. The pair have been held in jail since their arrests last month.

After refusing for days to disclose where accused child pornographer Laughton is being held, Hillsborough County Department of Corrections Superintendent Joseph Costanzo relented and confirmed New Hampshire’s first transgender elected representative is being housed with other men.

“The individual you are seeking information on is housed in a male unit in accordance with PREA standard 115.42(c) & (e). The specific location and housing unit and cell assignment will not be disclosed to protect the safety of all individuals and the security of the institution,” Costanzo told NHJournal via email.

Laughton is listed as a biological male on the jail intake forms.




Both Groves and Laughton are being held at Valley Street Jail in Manchester. Costanzo initially told NHJournal it was his policy not to disclose that information, claiming it was not a matter of public record. However, he could not cite any specific written policy or law prohibiting public disclosure.

The Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, policies Costanzo cites deal with screening transgender and intersex inmates for housing assignments.

“(c) In deciding whether to assign a transgender or intersex inmate to a facility for male or female inmates and in making other housing and programming assignments, the agency shall consider on a case-by-case basis whether a placement would ensure the inmate’s health and safety and whether the placement would present management or security problems.”


“(e) A transgender or intersex inmate’s own views with respect to his or her own safety shall be given serious consideration.”

State Rep. Kathrine Prudhomme O’Brien (R-Derry), who was among those pushing Costanzo to disclose Laughton’s housing gender assignment, said Laughton being kept with biological men is a victory for public safety.

“The safety of female inmates is important, and there shouldn’t be loopholes that could be taken advantage of that make them more vulnerable. I’m pleased to learn Laughton is housed appropriately,” Prudhomme O’Brien said.

Laughton has been in long-term relationships with biological women like his wife, Lisa Laughton, and Groves.

Laughton made national news in 2012 by becoming the first elected transgender member of the New Hampshire legislature, winning accolades from New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley — despite the Democrat’s criminal history. After years of run-ins with the law, Laughton was still on a suspended sentence for a 2008 felony credit card fraud conviction under his original name, Barry Laughton, when Democrats endorsed him for the state House.

Laughton’s tangled criminal and political career also includes making a bomb threat at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and stalking Groves.

According to a statement released Thursday, Groves worked at Creative Minds located in Tyngsborough, Mass. It is alleged that, between May 2022 and June 2023, Groves took nude images of children at the daycare and sent the photos to Laughton.

The pair engaged in graphic text conversations in which they discussed child rape. At one point, Laughton appears to admit to having raped a child in the past. Groves is accused in a civil lawsuit of molesting children at the daycare.

The investigation remains ongoing.