ROCKLAND, Maine — A Portland man was sentenced Friday to serve seven years in prison for attempting to sell more than 50 grams of cocaine in Rockland last year.
Maine Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm sentenced Kaihlil T.P. Nigro to 10 years behind bars with all but seven years suspended, four years of probation, and he ordered him to pay fees of $1,020. Hjelm said Nigro was a danger to the community, citing previous drug convictions and more than 25 traffic infractions as aggravating factors.
Family and friends spoke at the sentencing in Knox County Superior Court, describing Nigro, 36, as a good father and a helpful, kind person.
“He taught me to be able to live again,” said Matthew Winner, a client of Nigro’s who had suffered from what he described as crippling panic attacks. Nigro worked as a holistic healer in Portland, where he helped people overcome mental and physical problems, according to court records.
But Hjelm said Friday, “The conduct he chose to engage in is absolutely contrary to that character.”
Last year, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officials heard that Nigro had been coming to the midcoast to sell drugs, according to MDEA supervisory special agent Jim Pease. Investigator Kirk Guerrette of MDEA arrested Nigro on Sept. 1, 2009, and found in his pocket a combination to a safe that Nigro was keeping at a Rock-land house. The house where Nigro held his drugs was located between Rockland District High School and the MacDougal School, according to court records.
When officers opened Nigro’s safe, they found approximately 17 1-gram bags of cocaine and 12 eight-ball bags, which hold about 3.8 to 4 grams of cocaine each, according to police reports. Also in the safe were scales and drug packaging materials.
“We had done the investigation for about a month around him coming to Rockland from Portland for the sole purpose of selling cocaine,” said Pease on Monday.
MDEA officers arrested Nigro on two charges of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and one charge of criminal forfeiture of property. He later was found guilty of the charges, which were aggravated because the drug sales took place within 1,000 feet of schools.
Pease said Rockland’s problem with cocaine is second only to its prescription drug abuse.
The 2009 investigation included undercover police purchasing cocaine from Nigro. In the same investigation, police arrested Jennifer Marriner, 30, of Rockland and her brother Skip Marriner, 33, of Rockland and Portland.
Skip Marriner was convicted on two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, for which he was sentenced to one year of probation and $980 in fees. His jail time, 364 days, was suspended. Two charges against him of aggravated trafficking in a Schedule W drug were dismissed in February.
Jennifer Marriner was convicted of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, for which she was sentenced to serve 364 days in jail with all but seven days suspended. She also must pay $490 in fees and serve one year of probation. Two charges against her of aggravated trafficking in a Schedule W drug were dismissed in February.