PORTLAND — A former world languages teacher at the Coastal School for Girls in Freeport pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday to allowing his Lewiston home to be used by others to process cocaine and sell drugs.

Noel Thibodeau, 43, was arrested on Aug. 5 at his 5 Bradford St. home and charged with the federal crime of maintaining a drug-involved premises, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Thibodeau initially pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court, and was remanded to federal custody, but was released the following week on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Prosecutors said state and federal drug agents executed a search warrant at Thibodeau’s home in late July and seized approximately $53,000 they labeled as drug proceeds, as well as a digital scale and pipes allegedly used to smoke crack cocaine.

In a Nov. 20 court filing, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said that had the case gone to trial, his office could have proved that Thibodeau, who owned and occupied the 5 Bradford St. residence, made it available to an unnamed person from January 2013 to July 2014 for the purposes of engaging in a “drug trafficking conspiracy.”

As an example, Delahanty wrote that Thibodeau knowingly allowed that unnamed person and others to process cocaine in the house, and allowed drugs and drug money to be stored at the house.

The case was set for trial in November and then continued to Dec. 1, but on Monday, Thibodeau changed his plea.

According to the terms of the agreement, Thibodeau pleaded guilty to the single count of maintaining a drug-involved premises. He will forfeit $45,000 of the money seized at his home, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 27 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

In August, Coastal School for Girls founder and executive director Pam Erickson said Thibodeau last worked at the school in June 2014.

She said she was “shocked and disappointed” to hear of the arrest, and wrote in an email to the Bangor Daily News that Thibodeau “had no criminal history and exhibited no signs of engaging in inappropriate behavior of any kind.

Thibodeau’s attorney, Neale Duffett, did not immediately return a phone call for comment on Wednesday.

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