Sign in or Subscribe See Offers
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents arranged to buy drugs from another man whom they pulled over in a car driven by Tyrel Cox in 2020.
AUGUSTA — A Pittston man busted with methamphetamine and guns in a car and at his home in 2020 pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and illegal possession of a firearm.
Tyrel Cox, 37, was pulled over in a car in February of 2020 with a West Gardiner man, Logan McDonald, 26, who had arranged to sell a quarter-pound of methamphetamine for $3,600 to an undercover Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agent. Police stopped the car, which Cox was driving, in the parking lot at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Augusta, where the agent and McDonald had allegedly arranged to make their planned drug deal, according to an affidavit filed by MDEA special agent Ryan Dinsmore.
After a police dog trained to sniff out narcotics indicated there were drugs present, officials located 114 grams of methamphetamine in the console of the vehicle, which was registered to Cox’s wife. There also was a revolver in the back seat, according to Katie Sibley, an assistant attorney general.
Police interviewed Cox, who told them he had another 6 ounces of methamphetamine at his house on J and J Road in Pittston. He later agreed to go to the residence with drug agents so they could retrieve the drugs.
Police located a bag of about 147 grams of methamphetamine underneath a trailer at the residence, according to Sibley. She said Cox admitted to police he received the methamphetamine in California and resold it.
Police also found and seized five firearms and $2,500 in cash at the residence, and $500 in cash in Cox’s wallet.
Cox was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person because he had been convicted of a felony in 2009 in California, which the affidavit states was for a controlled substances charge.
Under Maine law, felons are not allowed to possess firearms.
Tuesday, Cox pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and illegal possession of a firearm, and agreed to forfeit about $3,000 and the six firearms to the state. A second count of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Cox could face up to 30 years in prison for the Class A trafficking charge. He will be sentenced at a later date, likely in July, according to Superior Court Justice Deborah P. Cashman.
Cashman, however, will not preside over that sentencing. At the start of Cox’s court hearing at the Capital Judicial Center, she said that members of her family are connected to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency so she recuses herself from presiding over any contested court matters involving that agency. She asked if either the state or Cox had any concerns with her presiding over Tuesday’s session, in which Cox would enter a plea but not be sentenced. Cox’s attorney, Matthew Crockett, said he had no objection to Cashman presiding over the hearing, with another judge to preside over Cox’s later sentencing.
Cox remains out on bail pending sentencing, with bail conditions including that he not use or possess illegal drugs, not possess firearms, not have contact with McDonald, not leave the state of Maine and comply with a curfew other than to leave his home for work, medical reasons or legal appointments.
McDonald pleaded guilty, in March of 2021, to two counts of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs and was sentenced to an eight years in prison — with all but two of those years suspended — and three years of probation, according to court records.
Comments are not available on this story.
Send questions/comments to the editors.