Transient arrested as material witness in federal drug trial released on bail

Posted Nov. 12, 2013, at 4:56 p.m.

BANGOR Maine — A federal judge Tuesday ordered a local transient arrested last week as a material witness in a federal drug trial released on personal recognizance bail.

Conditions of Amy White’s release include her abiding by conditions of her state probation, showing up to testify at the trial of Nicholas McDonald, 33, of Holden in February and checking in by phone twice a week with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Bangor.

White, 36, is on probation for a burglary conviction. She was sentenced in June, after pleading guilty to the charge, to one year in prison with all but 28 days suspended and one year of probation, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.

White has been granted immunity to testify against McDonald. When she did not show up for a pretrial conference Nov. 5 at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a warrant was issued for her arrest, according to court documents. She was arrested Thursday.

McDonald has pleaded not guilty to one count each of possession with intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm. His jury trial was scheduled to begin this week. It was continued Friday until Feb. 4 due to the last minute receipt of a DNA report from the Maine State Police Crime Lab.

McDonald and White, who was driving a car that allegedly contained stolen construction equipment, were stopped April 5 on Copeland Road in Holden, according to a previously published report. McDonald took off on foot but was found hiding in the woods by a Maine State Police trooper and a search dog.

A safe with drugs and a gun in it were found in White’s car, according to trial briefs filed in federal court. A report that stated McDonald’s DNA matched DNA on the gun and the safe caused the trial to be delayed.

White is expected to testify at McDonald’s trial that she gave him rides to Massachusetts to pick up heroin and helped him make deliveries in Maine in exchange for heroin and gas money, according to court documents.

If convicted, McDonald faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $2 million.

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