MAINE STATE POLICE DOMINATING MAINE DEA

October 11-12, 1986, there was another article in the BDN three months after Higgins’ "Case of Criminal as Informant Sours" article. This one was in reference to a prosecutor who was resigning from the Maine DEA drug unit because the Maine State Police were dominating the task force and were focusing on petty cases.
A Federal prosecutor resigned his $60,000-a-year position Friday, claiming that the [Maine DEA] he was charged to supervise was “misguided and disorganized.” Pasquale “Pat” Perrino, [same attorney who signed with DA David Cox to dismiss Pollard’s reckless conduct indictment] an assistant U.S. attorney with the Bangor office, charged that Maine State Police officers serving as field supervisors with the task force failed to coordinate their movements with the federal prosecutor’s office. ...
     “The 42-year-old, high-profile attorney claimed that dominance of the task force by the Maine State Police is compromising the potential effectiveness of the unit. Perrino said the task force seemed to be set on a course aimed at apprehending petty drug users instead of mid-level to high-level traffickers. ...
     Perrino said that the Maine State Police seemed more interested in playing a numbers game with small-time offenders to justify their existence rather than pursue cases involving large-scale significant drug dealers and financiers. I also disapprove of the [Maine DEA] methodology, which seems to hold that it is run by the Maine State Police, who refuse to coordinate with other departments. And unlike the two other task forces operating in the state, the Maine State Police seem to want to hold on to a larger piece of the pie here in the Bangor area.
     It turns into a numbers situation. If you can show statistically that you’ve made ‘x amount’ of deals, you get more money and you get more support staff. ...”
After reading the October article it reinforced my belief that Mike’s murder was never investigated because of the Maine DEA drug sting and I wondered how negatively it would reflect on the DEA Unit that their covert operation cost a man his life for 10 pounds of marijuana.  It also gave me an insight in to how involved the Maine State Police were in the Maine DEA.  After learning that Maine State Police Detectives Shuman and Pinkham were part of the Maine DEA unit that cost Mike his life, I strongly believe that they should not have been assigned investigators on his murder.
     When Percy Cote, the DEA informant, was being sentenced in Superior Court in Bangor on July 9, 1981, Det. Pinkham gave his recommendation to Assistant DA Almy that he not be sentenced to state prison because of his help in many drug cases.
     Assistant District Attorney J. Hilary Billings addressed the Court concerning the danger to Mr. Cote if he should be sentenced to Maine State Prison. “The State does have a recommendation in this instance of a substantial period of incarceration. However, the State would urge that the Defendant not be placed in the State Prison. We have information from Ralph Pinkham of the State Police that Mr. Cote was instrumental in some other cases, particularly involving one in which a state police officer was convicted for a corruption charge, therefore it was Ralph Pinkham’s indication there may be some danger to Mr. Cote were he to be placed in the State Prison. So the State would recommend that a State Prison sentence be imposed but that the defendant be held at the County Jail until the corrections system administratively could find a placement for the Defendant, perhaps in the Federal system or some other secured institution."
     Cote’s Defense Attorney Charles Gilbert also addressed the Court concerning the danger to his client if he were sentenced to Maine State Prison. “Your Honor, may it please the Court, since Mr. Billings has not been representing the State in this matter, I would just indicate that that is my understanding of what Mr. my would have indicated had he been here. He is the one who had the contact with Sergeant Pinkham of the State Police and he is the one who, in fact, informed me of the danger of having Mr. Cote placed in the State’s Prison. I would also indicate that there are some law enforcement authorities in the Presque Isle area—and I believe this is reflected in the pre-sentence report—especially an Officer Ferland of the Presque Isle Police Department who has indicated that Mr. Cote has been most helpful on a number of cases up in that area ... “With respect to the State’s recommendation, certainly I think it would be very dangerous based on my understanding of what’s happened [What happened? Was Attorney Gilbert referring to Mike's murder?], to have a sentence where Mr. Cote was at all in jeopardy of being placed at any time through an administrative whim or for any other reason in the State’s Prison. There are people there including, as Mr. Billings has indicated, a former state police detective who has some very serious grudges against Mr. Cote; and his life, I believe, would be in extreme danger if he was ever placed there.
     Attorney Gilbert told Judge Robert L. Brown “I can’t minimize his [Cote] prior criminal record, Your Honor. It’s obviously something I can’t run away from ...” and there are “people who have serious grudges against Mr. Cote.”
     I wish I could have been there to tell Mr. Gilbert that my son didn’t live to have a serious grudge against Cote or any of the other people who I believe were responsible for causing his murder—the DEA undercover task force, Percy Sargent, Lionel Cormier, and Paul Pollard.
     Ralph Pinkham is concerned that Percy Cote, a man with a long criminal record, would be in danger if he was placed in the Maine State Prison. Pinkham had no concern for me when he told me that Percy Sargent had sent a phone call to have Mike taken care of and that Lionel Cormier set the fire and then looked me directly in the face and denied he had told it to me, while Shuman sat beside him and threatened me.
     And Pinkham and Shuman was not concerned that Mike had lost his life during one of their undercover drug stings or for me while I  tried to find out who and why he was killed.