An Augusta woman is facing prostitution and trafficking charges after allegedly supplying the heroin that led to the overdose death of a Manchester man.

Jennifer L. Tripp, 41, is charged with aggravated trafficking of a scheduled drug (heroin), engaging in prostitution, misuse of public benefits instrument (EBT), theft by deception and violation of probation.

Tripp, who has been held at the Kennebec County jail since Sept. 22, was charged Friday with the additional counts.

The misuse and theft charges are connected to Tripp’s failure to claim income gained from prostitution when applying for state assistance, said Kennebec County Interim Sheriff Ryan Reardon. He said additional charges against Tripp are possible.

Tripp is accused of supplying the heroin that killed David A. Hinson, 57, inside his Pete’s Way home. Hinson’s roommates found him dead on a couch on Sept. 9. There were lines of heroin on a table in front of him.

Reardon said a toxicology report indicated Hinson died from “acute intoxication due to opioids.” In this case the drug was heroin.


“Tripp advised that Hinson had consumed at least one whole bag of heroin in her presence,” Reardon said. “She stated that it took Hinson about five minutes to consume the bag.”

Sheriff deputies were called to Hinson’s home at 9 Pete’s Way to deal with an unattended death. The dead man, whom deputies learned was Hinson, was found on the couch and slumped over, Reardon said. Based on the evidence, deputies believed Hinson had died of an overdose, so they sought the assistance of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the medical examiner’s office.

Deputies quickly learned that a woman had been with Hinson the night before. Investigators later learned that woman was Tripp, Reardon said.

“Hinson had solicited Tripp through a Backpage ad for the purposes of prostitution,” Reardon said. “Part of the agreement for her service was the delivery of drugs to his home.” is an online classified ad service commonly used by prostitutes and escort services.

Tripp secured the drugs and delivered them to Hinson’s home. She arrived with at least two small bags, each containing about a quarter-gram of heroin, Reardon said. Evidence confirmed she purchased the drugs in Augusta.


Tripp was cooperative when interviewed by Kennebec County detectives, Reardon said. Tripp said Hinson snorted the heroin off a plate, which was still on a table in front of Hinson when he a roommate discovered his body the next morning. The plates still contained lines of heroin, Reardon said. Tripp said Hinson also appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, Reardon said.

“After watching Hinson consume several lines of heroin, Tripp advised Hinson to slow down,” Reardon said. “Tripp observed this and got nervous.”

When Hinson continued inhale the heroin, Tripp left the home with $250 of Hinson’s money.

“His drug use scared her off and she left with payment of the drugs,” Reardon said.

Reardon said this investigation, like a recent prostitution sting conducted by his department as well as Waterville and Augusta police, shows the close connection that exists between heroin trafficking and prostitution.

“Several of the persons arrested brought illegal drugs as payment,” he said. “This case specifically shows the connection between prostitution in this state and the drug trade.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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