Harrington, ME — When parents of children at Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School in Harrington, Maine saw officer Jeffrey Bishop's car parked in front of the school, they likely felt secure knowing that a cop was "protecting" their children. But Bishop was protecting no one. Instead, he was selling them deadly fentanyl.
Bishop, 53, of Cherryfield is charged with four counts of aggravated furnishing of scheduled drugs, as well as one count of unlawful trafficking in Schedule W drugs. Under Maine law, Schedule W drugs are amphetamines, cocaine and its derivatives, heroin and similar opiates, and other drugs that are considered the most harmful.
Before he was arrested, likely knowing it was coming, Bishop submitted his resignation on January 12, 2021, and his last day of employment was Jan. 30.
News Center Maine reports that according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA), the charges are aggravated due to alleged trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school and alleged furnishing of the drugs to a minor.
"We are very surprised and concerned about the allegations against Mr. Bishop, as we are well aware that if they are proven, this is not just a black eye to our department but to all of law enforcement," Bishop's department said in a press release. "We believe that all law enforcement officers must be held to a higher standard to keep our justice system above reproach."
The investigation was launched after police busted a minor at the school who was in possession of multiple pills of hydrocodone and around 800 milligrams of fentanyl. According to the CDC, just 3 milligrams of fentanyl is enough to kill an average size adult male. This cop had no problem giving a child over 250 lethal doses of the drug.
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Sylvia Moores, an adult customer of Bishop's, was also arrested. She would later tell investigators Bishop would pick her up on duty and exchange sexual favors for drugs. According to court records, Moores met up with Bishop at least seven times to exchange sexual favors for pills and fentanyl. Each visit happened in his patrol car and netted the woman 20-25 pills according to investigators.
“This investigation revealed that he had been exchanging hydrocodone pills with the state’s witness for sexual favor,” State Assistant Attorney General John Risler said.
According to MCN,
On February 5, court documents report the brown powder found in possession of the hydrocodone pills was identified as fentanyl.
The investigation led to Bishop's arrest at around 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5. Bishop was arrested without incident in Harrington with the assistance of the Washington County Sheriff‘s Office and the Maine State Police Department.
Agents subsequently served a search warrant at Bishop’s Cherryfield home Friday evening, where agents said they seized additional evidence of drug trafficking, including 110 hydrocodone pills not prescribed to Bishop. The pills were found inside his police duty bag according to the court documents.
Biship was booked into Aroostook County Jail and was released on a $50,000 cash bond.
“I don’t see him as a flight risk,” Jeffrey Toothaker, Bishop’s attorney, said. “In fact, it seems that he’s probably going to have to go home and rethink his life.”
While the Free Thought Project doesn't believe that any drugs should be illegal, we definitely don't feel that children should be given these drugs. When a law enforcement officer is caught betraying the trust of the community and giving children lethal doses of a drug that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year, that officer deserves to be held accountable to the fullest extent.