June 20, 2018
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Lewiston man accused of trying to smuggle drugs into prison

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 31-year-old Lewiston man is being held in lieu of $5,000 cash bail after he was arrested on a charge of trying to smuggle Suboxone by mail into the Maine State Prison.

Jacob A. Koch made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Rockland District Court before Judge Patricia Worth on two counts of trafficking in prison contraband. Worth agreed with the request of Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald to set bail at $5,000 cash.

The Maine Department of Corrections received information from a confidential source that a prisoner was trafficking in drugs within the prison, according to an affidavit filed by Maine Corrections Department investigator Jason Benefield. Prison officials started monitoring the inmate’s calls, including conversations he was having with a subject, later identified as Koch.

From those calls, the prison determined that Koch would be mailing letters to both that inmate and to a second one at the prison, according to the affidavit. The investigator states that the letters containing strips of Suboxone were intercepted on Jan. 22.

Fernald told Judge Worth that the high bail was necessary both because of the seriousness of the charges but also because of Koch’s lengthy criminal record. He has convictions dating back to 2001 for burglaries, thefts, and an armed robbery in South Carolina.

Fernald said he also expects that South Carolina will seek to have Koch returned to that state on a fugitive warrant since he is still on probation for the armed robbery.

Defense attorney William Pagnano had asked for bail to be set at $400 cash.


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