Police Officer Who Died From Accidental Overdose Pocketed Fentanyl During Traffic Stop

A Maine police officer who died from an accidental drug overdose had stolen fentanyl during a traffic stop just weeks prior, it has been revealed.

Lewiston Police Officer Nicholas Meserve was found dead inside his home on February 8. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner later ruled that the 34-year-old died as a result of acute fentanyl intoxication.

According to an independent investigation into his death, the officer was filmed pocketing fentanyl that had fallen on the ground three weeks earlier on January 18. The incident was recorded via a Lewiston police patrol vehicle camera during the arrest of suspect Jamil Dabson.

A Maine State Police trooper had pulled over a taxi as its headlights were off, which Dabson was a passenger in. The trooper was then allowed to search the suspect for drugs as per his bail conditions. The trooper found 86 grams of fentanyl bricks in Dabson's possession, with the suspect also attempting to flee the scene.

Meserve is said to have "slipped some of the drug evidence into his pants pocket" while assisting officers who were picking up fentanyl that had fallen on the ground, prosecutors told a plea hearing for Dabson in Androscoggin County Superior Court, reports the Sun Journal.

In a statement released after the conclusion of the report into Meserve's death, led by Maine State Police, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine Attorney General's Office, Lewiston Police Chief Brian O'Malley said the department was unaware of Meserve's drug problems.

"All members of the Lewiston Police Department cooperated with the investigation, which disclosed that no officers had any knowledge of Officer Meserve's substance use disorder or his possession of illegal drugs," O'Malley said, reports WGME. "This is a reminder that the opioid epidemic touches the lives of many in the community regardless of their wealth, race, religion or profession."

The officer's family paid tribute to him on social media following his death in February. "My dad was the best dad in the whole universe," his 9-year-old daughter Skylar Meserve said in a message on Facebook, relayed by her mother Ashley Meserve, reported Sun Journal.

"We were always the best ones at daddy and daughter dances. He taught me a lot of new things about his job," she added. "He told me what to do if someone attacks me. He made all my dreams come true."

Prosecutors have dismissed an aggravated trafficking in scheduled drug charge and two related charges against Dabson following the details about Officer Meserve. He pleaded no contest to a drug possession charge as part of a plea deal and was sentenced to 187 days in jail, time he had already served while in custody awaiting his court appearance.

Dabson still faces a string of felony charges relating to crimes he is accused of committing in New York, including robbery and assault.

fentanyl
Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, September 23, 2016 in New York City. Drew Angerer
Police Officer Who Died From Accidental Overdose Pocketed Fentanyl During Traffic Stop | U.S.