AP NEWS

Maine governor pardons former GOP lawmaker in old drug case

January 1, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has pardoned a former GOP state lawmaker for a 35-year-old felony-level drug trafficking conviction.

Maine Public reports the pardon of former state Rep. Jeffrey Pierce, of Dresden, could affect an ongoing investigation into whether Pierce illegally hunted with firearms.

Pierce had requested clemency and he was notified by LePage’s office that the governor signed the pardon last week.

Pierce says he had hunted with firearms since his conviction, but he didn’t realize he was violating state and federal laws, which prohibit anyone convicted of a felony from possessing firearms.

Pierce was convicted in 1983 after selling cocaine and marijuana to an undercover police officer.

Pierce was among a core group of Republicans loyal to LePage, who leaves office Wednesday, during his two terms as governor.