AUGUSTA — A Skowhegan woman arrested following a brief chase that ended behind the Augusta Civic Center — after which police located what they described as “a pharmacy of illicit drugs” in her vehicle — pleaded guilty to drug possession and other charges Tuesday.

In an unrelated case, a Gardiner man also pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced Tuesday.

Nicole Lamphere

Nicole A. Lamphere, 38, pleaded guilty to a class B felony charge of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, specifically more than four grams of cocaine base, also known as crack, as well as operating after suspension and failure to stop for an officer in the June 5 incident that resulted in her arrest by Kennebec County Sheriff’s deputies following a brief car and foot chase.

Lamphere, who has three previous drug possession convictions on her record, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 months in prison by Justice Joyce Wheeler at the Capital Judicial Center.

Charges of trafficking in scheduled drugs, an additional drug possession charge, and driving to endanger were dismissed as part of a plea agreement reached with state prosecutors.

Lamphere also agreed to forfeit $1,980 in cash she had with her at the time of her arrest.

Police first sought to pull her over for suspicion of distracted driving.

Sgt. Galen Estes was behind Lamphere’s Geo Tracker SUV around 4:40 p.m. June 5 on Mount Vernon Avenue in Augusta when he saw her reach onto the passenger side floor, text on her phone, eat food and nearly strike the vehicle in front of her several times, according an affidavit filed by Estes. He pulled her over, according to the affidavit, with the intent to warn her for distracted driving.

When he pulled in behind her vehicle after she stopped, however, he said she looked back with a look of panic on her face and pulled back out and drove off toward Townsend Road. She ran at least one red light and nearly ran head-on into vehicles when she veered into the oncoming lane, taking Civic Center Drive then turning left onto Community Drive and pulled into the northern-most parking lot of the Augusta Civic Center, then got out of her vehicle and began to run, as the unoccupied vehicle rolled over a hill.

Estes said he pursued her on foot, but after about 50 yards she fell into a fence between the Civic Center and the interstate. He told her to stop, which she did.

She admitted there were drugs in her vehicle and Estes’s affidavit said police located “a pharmacy of illicit drugs” in the vehicle, including the more than 4 grams of cocaine involved in the most serious charge to which she pleaded guilty Tuesday. She told Estes, according to the affidavit, she was “just a junkie making deliveries to support her habit.”

In an unrelated drug case also resolved by a plea agreement Tuesday, Joseph Trask, 50, of Gardiner, pleaded guilty to four class B felony counts of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, but with all but nine months suspended, meaning he’ll serve nine months but won’t serve the remainder if he complies with probation conditions. He was sentenced to two years of probation.

Trask, according to who was indicted by a grand jury in March, sold heroin and cocaine base, or crack, to an undercover member of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency on Oct. 1, 2018, and a confidential informant on Oct. 23, 2018, both in Gardiner, according to Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley.

Trask pleaded guilty to four counts of drug trafficking Tuesday, with one count dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Class B crimes are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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