AUGUSTA — A Gardiner woman has been charged with three counts of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs after she allegedly facilitated the sale of heroin and crack cocaine to a confidential informant in early 2017.

The woman, 30-year-old Jennifer Piper, was arrested by Augusta police on Tuesday afternoon, after she was found to be the passenger in a car that police had forced to stop on Civic Center Drive because of a defective brake light, police said.

In January 2017, Piper allegedly helped an unidentified informant purchase 0.32 grams of heroin — light brown and stored in a plastic bag — after they met on the side of Route 3, police wrote in the affidavit justifying her arrest.

Piper is accused of helping the same informant buy another 1.05 grams of heroin and 0.23 grams of crack cocaine a few days later, this time near a business on Mount Vernon Avenue, according to the affidavit, which was written by Detective Matthew Estes, of the Augusta Police Department.

Augusta police and a member of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency were monitoring both alleged exchanges, placing a recording device on the informant and providing a total of $350 in marked currency for the purchases.

Police arrested Piper around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday after stopping the car that had the defective brake light. She was a passenger in the silver Subaru.

In an interview with police, Piper “admitted to selling heroin and crack cocaine to support her drug habit,” Estes wrote. “Jennifer advised that she uses about a quarter gram of heroin a day and sometimes uses crack cocaine.”

In a complaint filed by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office, Piper has been charged with three counts of unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs, all class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine.

Piper made her first appearance in court on Wednesday afternoon, by video feed from the Kennebec County jail to the Capital Judicial Center.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley asked that Piper’s bail be set at $1,000 cash or $1,000 unsecured with a Maine Pretrial Services contract, arguing it would allow her to be supervised in the community.

Sibley said those bail recommendations are based on the age of the offenses — almost a year old — and the fact that Piper has only one prior conviction, for operating after suspension.

Piper was represented by attorney Erik Paulson, acting as lawyer of the day, who said he agreed with the recommendation. Judge Thomas Nale also agreed to the recommendation.

Piper’s next court hearing is scheduled for April 10.

Staff writer Betty Adams contributed reporting.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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