The former Archdeacon of Maine and Dean of St Luke’s Cathedral in Portland has been arrested for drug trafficking.
On 1 Nov 2012 deputies from the Lincoln County Sherriff’s Office arrested the Very Rev. Stephen Foote and charged him with a class C felony: smuggling a controlled substance into the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wicasset, Maine.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Murphy reported that Fr. Foote and two inmates were arrested following a joint month long investigation conducted by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, sheriff’s deputies, and correctional officers.
The 70 year old priest is accused of smuggling suboxone, a synthetic opioid used to treat heroin addiction, into the jail and giving it to Joshua Theriault-Patten (25) a former parishioner incarcerated at Two Bridges Regional Jail.
Lt. Murphy said Fr. Foote had admitted to smuggling the drugs, but had done so for pastoral reasons. “He said that he thought he was helping the person by doing this,” the lieutenant told the Kennebec Journal. “He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he thought he was helping him.”
The Diocese of Maine in Portland released a statement noting that Bishop Stephen Lane “receives this news with sadness and deep concern, and requests that Maine Episcopalians keep all parties in their prayers as we move through these difficult days.”
Fr. Foote served as Archdeacon of Maine from 1986 to 1990 and as Dean of St Luke’s Cathedral from 1990 to retirement in 2003. In recent years, Fr. Foote has served as priest in charge of St Mark’s Church in Augusta.
The diocese said Fr. Foote had been placed on administrative leave “pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.”
If convicted, Fr. Foote could face up to five years imprisonment and a $15000 fine.