Federal judge denies bail to man accused of smuggling oxycodone in his pants

Posted March 02, 2012, at 5:47 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge Friday denied bail to a Maine native facing drug charges.

Troy Spittle, 36, of Perth, New Brunswick, was arrested last week at the Fort Fairfield Port of Entry after oxycodone pills were found sewn into the waistband of his pants, according to court documents.

Spittle has dual citizenship in the United States and Canada but lives in Canada with his wife and four children, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey, who is prosecuting the case, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk.

Casey asked that Spittle be held without bail until his case is concluded.

Defense attorney Jon Haddow of Bangor urged the judge to allow Spittle to live with his parents in Fort Fairfield.

Kravchuk said that Spittle’s risk of flight was “exorbitant” given his proximity to the border and the fact that he has family there. The judge said she knew from experience that getting a defendant back from Canada could take up to two years because of extradition proceedings.

Spittle was charged with importation of oxycodone, a highly addictive painkiller. He is not expected to enter a plea until after he has been indicted by the federal grand jury later this month.

Spittle drove his 1997 Dodge Dakota pickup into the Fort Fairfield border crossing station about 2:30 p.m. Feb. 27, according to court documents. He told a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer that he was headed to an auto parts store.

Spittle was referred for a secondary inspection after his breathing became shallow and rapid as a narcotics detection dog was making its way around the vehicle, according to court documents.

As part of the secondary inspection, an officer did a pat-down of Spittle and he felt “many small objects inside the waist line seam of [his] pants,” an affidavit stated. When asked what they were, Spittle at first said he did not know, then admitted they were oxycodone pills.

Investigators found 23 80-milligram oxycodone tablets hidden in Spittle’s clothing, according to court documents.

Spittle told investigators that he had been smuggling pills into Maine once a month for the past 1½ to 2 years. He said he sold the pills to support his own addiction. If convicted, Spittle faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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