PORTLAND — A Peru woman accused of selling roughly five pounds of methamphetamine while having a gun was released to a residential substance abuse program, a judge ruled Thursday.

Mandy Shorey, 42, appeared in U.S. District Court where her family, including her young daughter, showed their support.

Shorey had been in federal custody since her arrest in January.

She was indicted in April on charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Each crime is punishable by 10 years to life in prison.

Shorey also is charged with use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, also a felony, punishable by five years to life in prison.

She completed a drug treatment program at Strafford County Jail in Dover, New Hampshire, where she had been held after a judge had earlier denied her release.


Her attorney, Cory McKenna, argued Thursday that his client had demonstrated she could complete a substance abuse treatment program at the New Hampshire jail.

She found a residential substance abuse program in Portland where she has been accepted for “next level” treatment, McKenna said. The minimum period of time for the program is 90 days, but she could stay up to a year, he said.

“She would like to continue as long as she is allowed,” McKenna said.

If she were to complete the program, it would be helpful to court officials during sentencing in judging the possibility of her rehabilitation, if Shorey were convicted, McKenna said, noting she had no criminal history.

He said Shorey has every reason to succeed in the program and not violate the terms of her bail.

“I would find it highly unlikely she would squander that opportunity,” McKenna said.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah Falk argued Thursday that Shorey should remain behind bars considering the strength of the government’s case against her.

“Conviction is highly likely,” he said, adding Shorey faces a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Karen Frink Wolf said her decision to allow Shorey’s release was “extremely close.”

Wolf ordered a $20,000 unsecured bond in an effort to ensure Shorey’s future court appearances.

She must not have alcohol or illegal drugs and must submit to testing at the direction of her supervising officer, Wolf said.

Shorey must abide by the guidelines of the residential substance abuse treatment program, Wolf said.


“Now is when the really hard work starts,” Wolf said.

She said the evidence in the case against Shorey is “extraordinarily strong” and that the purity of the methamphetamine she allegedly sold was “concerning.”

Wolf urged Shorey to succeed “if for no other reason” than to set an example for her young daughter.

An undercover agent posed as a methamphetamine buyer and contacted Shorey using the Signal application, an internet-based program that uses encryption technology, according to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Daniel Grimes.

The agent arranged to buy two pounds of the illegal drug for $14,000.

They agreed to meet at a Portland apartment on Nov. 10, 2022.


Shorey said the agent had already made purchases in July and September last year, Grimes wrote.

The agent was given $14,000 in prerecorded bills and equipped with audio and video recording devices as well as transmitting equipment.

Agents staked out the location of the apartment and spotted Shorey’s car parked nearby. She got out and walked to the apartment, Grimes wrote.

The undercover agent and Shorey exchanged text messages.

Shorey told the undercover agent to wait until her supplier arrived with the drugs, Grimes wrote.

Agents saw two vehicles park near the apartment. The passengers conversed, then one of the vehicles drove away.


Two passengers, a man and a woman, from the remaining car, a rental, went to the apartment, Grimes wrote.

The undercover agent gave Shorey the money and was told to wait in a bedroom.

After Shorey talked to the two people, she came into the bedroom with two wrapped black packages and put them on the bed.

She unwrapped one and the undercover agent could see a white crystal-like substance in a vacuum-sealed bag, Grimes wrote. The undercover agent put the two packages inside a book bag and left the apartment.

The contents later tested positive for methamphetamine.

The following month, the buying agent and Shorey started planning another drug sale, Grimes wrote.


Shorey proposed meeting in Massachusetts. The undercover agent declined, saying he preferred to meet in Portland, according to Grimes.

She texted that it would be safe to meet in Massachusetts, adding: “I always have a piece on me and I will bring one armed man to back me up that they will never see, just in case!” Grimes wrote.

On Jan. 26, the undercover agent was given $16,000 and was equipped with recording and transmitting equipment.

Agents parked outside the same Portland apartment saw Shorey arrive and go into the building.

Two cars, both with Massachusetts license plates, pulled up outside the building, Grimes wrote.

The undercover agent gave Shorey the money. She left the building carrying a backpack and met with the occupant of one of the cars. She went back into the apartment, then returned to the car again, Grimes wrote.


Shorey went to her own car where she put a bag in the truck. She then returned to the apartment.

She showed the undercover agent a vacuum-sealed bag similar to the one she sold in November.

Shorey then broke the contents into smaller bags and gave one to the undercover agent, Grimes wrote.

The two Massachusetts cars left the scene and went to a Portland gas station.

Police later stopped one of the cars on the Maine Turnpike southbound, Grimes wrote

The $16,000 belonging to the undercover agent was found in the glove compartment. The passenger in that car was arrested and later charged.

The white substance, weighing roughly 460 grams, bought by the undercover agent, tested positive for methamphetamine, according to Grimes.

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