July 17, 2001

JULY 17, 2001

CONTACT: Lara M. Nomani, Assistant Attorney General 207-626-8804

Attorney General Steven Rowe announced that Craig Simmons, 34, of Rockland, Maine pled guilty and was sentenced Monday on two charges of Trafficking in Cocaine (class B felonies).

Simmons pled guilty before Justice Francis Marsano in the Waldo County Superior Court. He was sentenced to serve four years in prison, with all but eight months suspended and was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. Once released, Simmons will be on probation for an additional three years. His conditions of probation will require him to completely abstain from the use or possession of illegal drugs, to agree to random drug searches of his person, residence, and motor vehicle, and to undergo drug counseling to the satisfaction of his probation officer.

The Simmons case was investigated by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General and Maine Drug Task Force Attorney Lara M. Nomani. It follows a series of investigations into suspected drug trafficking at Homeport Billiards, a Rockland pool hall and tavern.

In 1998, an MDEA investigation into suspected cocaine trafficking at Homeport Billiards resulted in the conviction of three individuals for drug offenses. In 2000, the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement and the Attorney General assessed Homeport over $1000 in fines because cocaine had been sold on the premises in violation of Homeport's liquor license. Also in 2000, the Rockland City Council denied Homeport Billiards a liquor license. Simmons had denied any knowledge of cocaine trafficking at his business during the liquor license proceedings. In pleading to the present charges, he admitted to selling cocaine at Homeport Billiards and to possessing cocaine at his residence with the intent to traffick.