June 24, 2018
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MDEA informant said she wore a wire to get evidence in Knox County drug case

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 24-year-old Brewer man posted on Facebook on Monday night that people should attend his drug trial that began Tuesday to see the “rat” who helped police, according to the state as it opened its case in Knox County Superior Court.

The confidential informant, who allowed the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to place a wire on her to record conversations with defendant Isiah Roscoe back in the fall of 2009, was the first person to take the witness stand Tuesday.

Roscoe is on trial for two counts of trafficking in cocaine. His case is the final one to be heard that involved former drug enforcement agent Lt. Kirk Guerrette of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Defense attorneys had tried to attack Guerrette’s credibility in 44 cases after they learned in 2010 that the former agent’s name had come up as part of a larger statewide probe by the attorney general’s Healthcare Crimes Unit. The director of that department acknowledged last year that the investigation ended in May without anyone being charged.

Defense attorneys had hoped to undermine the agent’s credibility as a witness in their cases, claiming that the investigation indicated Guerrette abused prescription sleep medication. Guerrette denied any wrongdoing and said last year that the conclusion of the state’s probe confirmed he did nothing wrong.

At Roscoe’s trial, defense attorney Thomas Shehan told Justice Jeffrey Hjelm that he did not plan to raise the investigative report involving Guerrette at the trial.

On Tuesday, the confidential informant for the state in the Roscoe case said she began assisting MDEA after police searched her residence in 2008 and found three marijuana plants. She said she never was charged by police.

The BDN is not naming the informant at the request of police, who fear retribution against her.

The informant said on the stand Tuesday that she met Roscoe after she sold him a car and then they became Facebook friends.

She agreed to telephone Roscoe at the request of MDEA and ask if he could get her some cocaine.

Recordings were played in court of telephone calls between Roscoe and the informant and of conversations they had during two car rides in October and November 2009 when she allegedly drove Roscoe to pick up drugs which he reportedly then sold to her.

Hjelm interrupted the playing of one of the tapes to say they were difficult to understand.

“I’d be generous to say that I have heard 10 words,” Hjelm said.

He said he would listen to them again in his chambers.

The trial is a jury-waived one in which the judge will decide whether Roscoe is guilty.

The informant told the court Tuesday that Roscoe has posted comments on Facebook on several occasions since his arrest more than three years ago. The latest came Monday evening, she said, in which he encouraged people to attend and see the rat who helped police, she said.

Shehan questioned why the woman remained Facebook friends with him.

“I kept him as a friend to see if anything was going to happen to me,” she said.

One drug transaction occurred at the parking lot of KFC in Rockport and the other in the parking lot of Village Variety in Camden, she said. In both cases, the woman drove Roscoe to the locations and they would meet up with other people who provided the drugs to Roscoe who sold them to her, she said.

The trial is scheduled to conclude Wednesday.

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