FARMINGTON — Judge Brent Davis declined to lower the $350,000 bail Monday for a Canadian man accused of bringing 4.6 pounds of powdered cocaine across the Canadian border into Maine in a car.

Jermaine Phillips Franklin County Detention Center photo

During a bail review hearing in a Farmington court, Phillips’ defense attorney Jason Ranger asked that bail for Jermaine T. Phillips, 40, of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, be lowered to $15,000 in U.S. currency. Phillips’ family may be able to raise that amount, he said.

Phillips would argue that he is not a flight risk and has never failed to appear for a court date, Ranger said.

Phillips and c0-defendant Shanna C. Brown, 38, of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, were each arrested on a charge of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs on Nov. 12. They are not U.S. citizens.

A conviction on a charge of aggravated trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison and a maximum 30-year sentence, along with a fine of up to $50,000.

Ranger argued the cocaine was composed of two large bricks and his client had no large amounts of cash and no drug paraphernalia, such as scales and packaging, in his possession.


Phillips has no prior history in the U.S. He is the father of children ages 14, 10 and 3, with the youngest having severe autism, Ranger said.

Phillips allegedly understood it was an alleged large quantity of drugs, but not as deadly as fentanyl and heroin, Ranger said.

He blamed the higher bail partially on the media attention.

Assistant Attorney General David Fisher said it was more the concern that Phillips would be a flight risk and would not return to Maine for court appearances.

Ranger explained that his client was in a Lewiston court and a man accused of being a “serial” sex offender, who pleaded not guilty, had bail set at $200,000. He also told the court that any previous drug convictions Phillips has was for marijuana.

U.S. Border Patrol agents allegedly discovered the cocaine in a suitcase in the trunk of a car the couple was in, with the help of a K-9. The couple told investigators they were using a GPS and didn’t see that they were entering the United States, according to a Maine Drug Enforcement drug agent’s affidavit, filed in a Farmington court.


The couple’s initial bail was set at $500,000, but it was lowered to $350,000 for Phillips and $100,000 for Brown during an initial court appearance. Brown has also sought to lower her bail, but a judge has not ruled on the request.

Fisher cited a number of Phillips’ criminal convictions that involved weapon and drug trafficking convictions.

The 4.6 pounds of cocaine is 2,100 grams or 2.1 kilograms, Fisher said, which has a minimum street value of from $210,000 to $220,000. He said a reason for Phillips not having a large amount of money on him was because he hadn’t delivered the drugs, which Ranger said was an unfair assumption.

Judge Davis described Phillips’ criminal history as “substantial” and involved both trafficking and a number of weapon charges.

“I’m not inclined to reduce the bail,” Davis said.

Phillips’ next court date is at 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2022, at a Farmington court.

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