June 20, 2018
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Cyr Plantation man had earlier drug offense

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Cyr Plantation man who was shot by police after an armed encounter at his Route 1 home last week was convicted of a drug offense 22 years ago, but no other charges appear to have been filed against him since.

Neil J. Begin, 55, died early Saturday at Eastern Maine Medical Center of multiple gunshot wounds. He was shot at his home during an encounter with Maine State Police Trooper Robert Flynn of the Houlton barracks and an unidentified U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Kate Simmons, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, said that Flynn and two U.S. Border Patrol agents visited Begin’s residence as part of an investigation into a complaint involving Begin. The visit resulted in an armed encounter with Begin, and Begin was shot.

A criminal history record check through the State Bureau of Identification indicated that Begin was charged with one count of unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs in February 1988. He was charged by a state trooper.

It is not clear what sort of drug was involved.

Begin pleaded guilty in August 1988 to the misdemeanor in Madawaska District Court. He was sentenced to six months in jail with all but 20 days suspended, and probation for one year.

It is not known whether Begin had any other interactions with state police or they had been called to his home before.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said Thursday that he could not comment on any previous police interaction with Begin.

“That is not something we are going to get into as this is now in the hands of the Attorney General’s Office,” said McCausland.

It remains unknown whether it was a border patrol officer or Flynn who shot Begin. Officials have refused to say.

Simmons would not elaborate on the complaint or the actions that led up to the shooting, saying the details are part of a confidential investigation.

Officials with the state Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Border Patrol have maintained that they are not releasing any more details surrounding the shooting until the official investigation is complete in two or three months.

The Attorney General’s Office handles all cases involving police use of deadly force.

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