Appleton pot advocate fined but felony charges dropped

November 14th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 36-year-old Appleton man who was facing felony drug charges was fined $750 Wednesday morning after the state and defense agreed to a plea agreement.

Christian “Will” Neils pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana in the deal agreed to by the attorney general’s office and Neils. In exchange for his plea, an aggravated trafficking in marijuana charge was dismissed and the felony possession of marijuana charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Neils’ case was one of 44 that were scrutinized by defense attorneys after they learned in 2010 that former Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agent Kirk Guerrette had been investigated as part of a larger statewide probe by the attorney general’s Healthcare Crimes Unit. The director of that department acknowledged earlier this year that the investigation ended in May without anyone being charged.

Defense attorneys, who hoped to undermine the agent’s credibility as a witness in their cases, claimed that the investigation indicated Guerrette abused prescription sleep medication. Guerrette has denied any wrongdoing and noted earlier this year that the conclusion of the state’s probe confirmed he did nothing wrong.

Guerrette, who had been assigned to the MDEA since 2007, left the agency and returned to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office where he was promoted to lieutenant and still works today.

Guerrette was listed as a potential state witness in Neils’ case. A jury was selected Tuesday and the trial was supposed to begin Thursday in

Article source: