A retired state trooper who was arrested in December and charged with selling opioids to a police informant has reached a plea deal with the state and could receive up to 18 months in prison for drug trafficking when he is sentenced Monday.

Jeffrey Linscott of Buxton was charged with aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in fentanyl and cocaine, and possession of fentanyl when he was arrested in 2017. Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers said they seized several grams of what they believe to be fentanyl, as well as packaging materials, scales and suspected drug proceeds. Fentanyl is a dangerous opioid that is responsible for hundreds of overdose deaths in Maine.

Linscott’s attorney, Tyler Smith, wouldn’t discuss the charge or charges the trooper will plead guilty to, but said the plea deal calls for Linscott to be sentenced to a total of four years with most of that sentence suspended. Smith said prosecutors agreed to cap the unsuspended part – the actual prison term – at 18 months in exchange for the guilty plea. A judge will set the sentence after hearing arguments Monday morning, but plea deals between prosecutors and defense lawyers are usually followed.

Linscott also will also agree to a civil forfeiture of a pickup truck and $766 in cash that were seized in connection with the drug sale he made to an informant in Gorham on Dec. 20, 2017, when he was arrested after the undercover drug buy.

Linscott retired as a state trooper in November 2010 after 22 years on the job. He was able to buy retirement credits for time he had served in the military and was credited with 25 years of service as a state trooper, giving him a state pension of $3,447 a month. It wasn’t clear Friday whether the conviction will affect Linscott’s pension.

It also is not clear what led Linscott, who worked as a truck driver after his retirement, to sell drugs or how long he had been doing so before he was caught.

Linscott appeared to sense that he was being watched before his arrest. He allegedly sold drugs in Windham in October 2017 without appearing to take extra precautions. But on the night he was arrested, he met with the informant who was making the purchase and asked the man to lift his shirt to see if he was wearing a wire, according to an affidavit filed in the case. He then told the informant to go to another location where they would make the drug transaction.

While driving to the other location, the informant called MDEA detectives who were monitoring the sale and they were able to follow Linscott and the informant to the new location, a grocery store parking lot, where Linscott was arrested after selling fentanyl. The drug, originally developed as a painkiller, is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. State officials said the drug was responsible for more than half of the 376 fatal drug overdoses in Maine last year.

Linscott has declined interview requests and court documents don’t indicate how MDEA agents came to suspect that he was dealing drugs, although they suggest it was part of a larger investigation into drug dealing in Cumberland County.

Linscott was a detective for much of his career as a state trooper, but asked to be reassigned to patrol duties in 2008. That’s common practice for troopers because it allows them to boost their income with overtime assignments. And that, in turn, increases their retirement pay, which is based on a formula that uses a state trooper’s income during his or her three highest-earning years.

 

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