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A Superior Court judge in Bangor will decide if a father accused of allowing his 11-month-old daughter to get into his stash of fentanyl, overdose and nearly die last year is guilty of multiple drug charges.
Zachary Borg, 28, of Corinna has pleaded not guilty to one count each of aggravated furnishing of drugs to a minor and aggravated assault, both Class B crimes; domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a Class C crime; and endangering the welfare of a child and drug possession, both Class D crimes.
The weapon in the reckless conduct charge was the fentanyl that was found in several rooms in the couple’s home.
The trial began Tuesday before Superior Court Justice William Anderson at the Penobscot Judicial Center and is expected to end Thursday. Anderson will have to determine whether drugs left where young children can access them qualify as a weapon under Maine law. He most likely won’t issue a verdict from the bench but will take the case under advisement and issue a written decision in a few weeks.
Investigators found fentanyl in several rooms of the parents’ home, including their daughter’s bedroom, where fentanyl was found in the child’s playpen, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s office. Fentanyl residue was also found on her pink teddy bear.
The girl’s mother, Taezja DiPietro, 24, of Corinna, is facing the same charges as Borg. She is not expected to testify against him and may be tried at a later date if she is not offered a plea deal by the prosecutor.
The parents were arrested after the dispatch center in Bangor received a call at about 9:17 a.m. on June 26, 2021, reporting the child was in medical distress, according to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. The child was in cardiac arrest when first responders arrived.
She was taken to Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, where she was successfully resuscitated and stabilized, then flown by LifeFlight to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Dr. Devin Croft, an emergency room physician at the Pittsfield hospital, testified Tuesday that he placed a breathing tube in the child’s throat and connected her to a ventilator because she could not breathe on her own when she arrived. He said the girl received the overdose antidote naloxone at Borg’s suggestion.
“She immediately woke up and was responsive,” Croft testified.
As a precaution, the child was transferred to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, the physician said. A urine test performed at the Pittsfield hospital was negative for fentanyl but a blood test at the Bangor hospital was positive for the drug.
The child, now 2, fully recovered, according to Harris Mattson, Borg’s attorney.
If convicted, her parents face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the most serious charge of aggravated drug furnishing.