WISCASSET, Maine — An Episcopalian minister from Augusta and two inmates at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset have been charged with bringing illegal prescription drugs into the jail, according to police.
The Rev. Stephen Foote, 70, of Bremen allegedly smuggled the drug suboxone into the jail at least twice during the month of October, according to Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department Detective Michael Murphy.
Foote, who was arrested and bailed out of jail on Nov. 1, is charged with Class C trafficking in prison contraband. Charged with Class D attempted trafficking in prison contraband in the case are Joshua Theriault Patten, 25, of Bremen, who Murphy said is one of Foote’s parishioners, and Adam Shawley, 27, of Newport. Murphy said Patten and Shawley arranged for the drug to be mailed to Foote, who then brought it into the jail.
Murphy said suboxone is most commonly used to fight opiate addiction, though he said he suspects that Patten and Shawley were using it recreationally.
“As with a lot of other drugs such as methadone, it’s now being abused,” said Murphy. “The information we developed led us back to the reverend.”
The probe into the case lasted through most of October after an investigator at the jail learned of the alleged drug smuggling. Murphy said Foote visited with Patten often and brought suboxone with him on at least two occasions. Investigators seized about 80 milligrams of suboxone in the course of the investigation.
Murphy said Foote, who at the time of his arrest was the interim pastor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Augusta, has admitted to the charges against him. Murphy said he was unsure whether Foote is still in that position.
Foote declined to comment Wednesday when reached at his home by telephone. He referred questions to Newcastle attorney William Avantaggio, who could not be reached immediately.
Officials at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church also could not be reached early Wednesday afternoon. Neither Foote nor anyone else is listed as a minister on the church’s website.