Sanford man convicted of drug crimes in Aroostook County

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted June 24, 2013, at 2:21 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — A Sanford man who police originally found assaulting a woman on an Aroostook County roadway was convicted last week of drug crimes stemming from the incident.

Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Kafferlin said on Friday that Michael O. Fox, 33, was convicted of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and violation of conditions of release during a jury trial on June 18. The trial took place in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton before Justice Kevin Cuddy.

The case against Fox began when he was driving north on U.S. Route 1 in Bridgewater on Nov. 22, 2011. Chief Deputy Craig Clossey of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department was northbound on the roadway when he saw Fox in a vehicle that was pulled over on the southbound side of the road. Fox was assaulting a woman in the car. Clossey intervened and helped the woman. Fox was arrested on an outstanding warrant and also charged with domestic violence assault.

It was during that exchange, Kafferlin said, that Clossey discovered several items in the vehicle that are used to manufacture methamphetamines. He contacted the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for assistance. Supervisory Special Agent Shawn Gillen responded to the scene.

Kafferlin said that Fox denied that he was manufacturing the drugs, but the MDEA discovered a shed behind the home of Fox’s mother in Presque Isle where additional evidence of manufacturing was uncovered.

Fox was indicted in March 2012 for aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and three counts of violation of conditions of release. The charge was aggravated based upon Fox’s prior drug convictions. Two others were charged for purchasing pseudoephedrine for Fox to use in manufacturing. One of the individuals had previously pleaded guilty for his role and the other is awaiting trial, according to Kafferlin.

In January, Fox was found guilty of domestic violence assault for his actions with the woman in the car and was sentenced to 15 days in jail. He also was found guilty of violation of conditions of release and spent another 15 days in jail.

During the two-day trial, Fox was represented by Michael Carpenter, a Houlton attorney. Kafferlin said that Gillen testified that items found in the shed at Fox’s mother’s residence were ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamines. Additionally, lab analysis showed that residue of the drug was present on the items found in the shed.

The jury deliberated for approximately four hours prior to finding Fox guilty of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and violation of conditions of release. The jury found him not guilty of a related theft charge that was tried at the same time.

Kafferlin credited Clossey, MDEA agents in Aroostook and York Counties and Gillen for their assistance with the case.

Fox faces between 4 and 30 years in prison.

A sentencing date has not been set but will likely take place in August.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/24/news/aroostook/sanford-man-convicted-of-drug-crimes-in-aroostook-county/ printed on August 30, 2014