A Baileyville woman who, along with an alleged crooked cop, was charged with providing drugs to her teenage daughter pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Machias courtroom.
Sylvia Moores, 39, reached a plea agreement with the state attorney general’s office that requires her to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against Jeffrey Bishop, a former police officer who prior to his February 2021 arrest worked for several years for multiple police departments in Hancock and Washington counties.
Bishop, 54, of Cherryfield, is facing 35 criminal charges ranging from unlawful trafficking in drugs and unlawful furnishing of drugs to stealing guns, receiving stolen property and stealing drugs.
The charges against Moores, and some of those filed against Bishop, stem from a Feb. 1, 2021 drug transaction at Narraguagus High School in Harrington that police say was orchestrated by Moores and Bishop.
Bishop had retired from his job with the Calais Police Department just two days prior.
Moores, who police say on prior occasions had gotten drugs from Bishop in exchange for “non-monetary” payments, called the high school on that day and asked to speak to her daughter, who was 17 years old. Moores told her to go meet Bishop in the high school parking lot to get a bottle of pills.
A coach, who had overheard the daughter talking on the phone, became concerned when she heard the teenager say “but I don’t take medication,” Assistant Attorney General John Risler said.
A few minutes later the girl got the bottle from Bishop and, when she came back inside the school, the coach questioned her about it. The girl initially said it was ibuprofen but then she began crying and gave the coach the bottle. Police later determined it contained 27 hydrocodone pills and three baggies of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than heroin.
If she cooperates with prosecutors, Moores will be convicted on one felony drug furnishing charge while another would be dismissed, Risler said. She will receive an overall sentence of 4 years behind bars with all but 9 months of it suspended, and will serve 3 years of probation after she is released. If she violates her probation, she could be sent back to prison for more than 3 years.
If Moores does not cooperate with prosecutors while in the case against Bishop, she could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
Moores’ defense attorney, Dawn Corbett of Ellsworth, said that her client has worked hard in the past year to turn her life around. She said that since Moores was arrested, she has spent 28 days at a drug rehab facility in northern Maine. For a while she was not allowed to live with or have contact with her daughter or her 10-year old son, but has largely been able to win back their trust.
The daughter later graduated from Narraguagus High School with honors and now is enrolled in college, Corbett said.
“She has substance abuse disorder,” Corbett said of Moores. “She has huge regrets for what occurred. She’ll have to live with that for the rest of her life.”
Corbett added that, when Bishop was arrested, many people in the Calais area blamed Moores for his problems.
“There were a lot of people in the community who were not very nice to Ms. Moores, in support of Mr. Bishop,” Corbett said.
Moores, who has a prior felony theft conviction from 2017, has been linked to only 4 of the 35 charges that Bishop is facing.
She also pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating her probation from that prior conviction.
Justice Bruce Mallonee sentenced her to serve 6 months in jail on that plea, but agreed to delay the start of her sentence until April 18 so that Moores can spend Easter with her children.