A former Calais police officer has been accused of selling drugs, sometimes from his cruiser.
Jeffrey Bishop, 53, of Cherryfield is charged with four counts of aggravated furnishing of hydrocodone and fentanyl and one count of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The charges are aggravated because Bishop allegedly gave drugs to a minor and within 1,000 feet of a school.
He made his first court appearance remotely Monday from the Aroostook County Jail, where he is being boarded by the Washington County Jail. Bail was set at $30,000. Bishop has not yet hired a lawyer, according to the clerk’s office at the Washington County Judicial Center in Machias.
Bishop was arrested without incident at about 4:15 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Narraguagus High School in Harrington, six days after his resignation became effective.
Bishop went to work for the department part time in May 2019 and became full time the following September, according to the Calais Advertiser.
Calais Police Chief David Randall said Monday that Bishop resigned on Jan. 12 and that his last day of work was Jan. 30.
“We are very surprised and concerned about the allegations against Mr. Bishop, as we are well aware that if they are proven, this is not just a black eye to our department, but to all of law enforcement,” the chief said. “We believe that all law enforcement officers must be held to a higher standard to keep our justice system above reproach.”
Randall said that he learned of Bishop’s arrest Friday from the MDEA.
The investigation that led to his arrest began Feb. 1 when a girls basketball coach saw a student handed a pill in the school parking lot, according to a police affidavit filed in Washington County Superior Court. The girl allegedly had been told by her mother to go pick up some medication from “an uncle.”
The coach kept the pill bottle. Its contents were later identified as 22 pills containing hydrocodone and three small bags containing approximately 800 milligrams of a powder identified as containing fentanyl.
On Wednesday, deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested the girl’s mother, Sylvia Moores, 38, of Baileyville, the affidavit said. Moores allegedly confessed to getting hydrocodone pills from Bishop.
“Bishop would pick her up in a Calais Police Department patrol vehicle where he would then furnish hydrocodone pills to her in exchange for a non-monetary form of payment,” the affidavit said. “Sylvia estimated she has received hydrocodone pills from Bishop roughly seven times.
“Bishop would bring anywhere from 25 to 40 pills at a time,” the court document said.
Moores told police that Bishop told her he could get 600 to 700 pills if needed, though he would have to “move some funds around in his bank account” to buy them, the affidavit said.
The MDEA announced Bishop’s arrest Monday without noting his position in the Calais Police Department.
Agents subsequently served a search warrant at Bishop’s Cherryfield residence on Friday night where they seized additional evidence of drug trafficking that included 110 hydrocodone pills not prescribed to Bishop, according to the MDEA.
Bishop previously worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s office and the Ellsworth Police Department.
In 2007 while with the sheriff’s office, Bishop was fined $100 for attempted criminal mischief. Bishop admitted that on June 22, 2006, he took a political sign that his opponent, Rodney Merritt of East Machias, had placed on private property on Route 182 and threw it off a bridge on Route 1 into the Narraguagus River.
Ten days earlier, Bishop had lost a three-way race for the Republican nomination for sheriff. Merritt won the primary but lost in the general election in November.
Shortly after the incident, Bishop was suspended from the sheriff’s office. But in October 2006, during an arbitration hearing before the Washington County Commission, Bishop received five months’ back pay.
If convicted on the drug charges, Bishop faces up to 10 year in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the jail from which Bishop appeared remotely for his first court appearance.