Freeport private school teacher charged with drug trafficking released on bail

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FREEPORT — A private school teacher who was arrested for allowing drugs to be sold from his Lewiston home has been released on bail.

Noel Thibodeau, 43, was arrested Aug. 5 at his home at 5 Bradford St. in Lewiston. If convicted of the felony charge, Thibodeau could serve up to 20 years in prison and be fined up to $500,000.

Thibodeau was released Monday on an unsecured bond of $10,000 and was ordered to live with his sister in Winterport. His conditions of release also say he must seek psychiatric treatment and substance abuse counseling.

According to U.S. District Court documents, Thibodeau used his home for “the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, and using a controlled substance.” The documents claim Thibodeau began the operation on an unknown date, but that it was no later than January 2013. It continued until July 24, 2014.

Thibodeau was a Spanish and French teacher at Coastal Studies for Girls, a private boarding school near Wolfe’s Neck Farm. Pam Erickson, the founder and executive director of the semester-long school for sophomore girls, said Thibodeau’s arrest took the school by surprise.

“Coastal Studies for Girls was shocked and disappointed to hear last week that its former World Languages teacher was arrested,” Erickson said in an email.

Erickson said Thibodeau last taught at the school in June. She declined to say if he was employed at the time of his arrest.

“Coastal Studies is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for its students and thoroughly assesses its teachers, including background checks,” Erickson said. “In this case, the individual involved had no criminal history and exhibited no signs of engaging in inappropriate behavior of any kind.”

According to the court documents, it is unknown whether Thibodeau received compensation for the use of his property.

Thibodeau’s trial is set for Sept. 8 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.