An investigation into the overdose death of a Lewiston Police Officer indicates that he had stolen drugs during a traffic stop.

Lewiston Police Chief Brian O'Malley revealed the findings in a post on the department's Facebook page. The investigation into the death of Officer Nicholas Meserve was conducted by the Maine State Police,MDEA, and Maine Attorney General's office. Meserve died at his home in Lewiston on February 8th of acute fentanyl intoxication and his death was ruled accidental. Meserve was 34-years-old.

During the review of many of Officer Meserve's cases, investigators' attention was drawn to a traffic stop on January 18th, 2019. Meserve assisted the Maine State Police in the arrest of an individual, and was seen on camera helping other officers pick up drug evidence that had fallen on the ground. Officials say it appears that Meserve placed some of the drug evidence into his pants pocket while outside the view of other officers. The drug involved was fentanyl.

Chief O'Malley says none of Meserve's co-workers had any indication that he had a substance use issue or was in possession of illegal drugs. But he adds that the case is a good example of how the opioid epidemic touches all walks of life. The Lewiston Police Department continues to maintain an employee assistance program and a peer support team.

If you, or someone you know, is dealing with substance abuse disorder, dial '211' for information about services in your area, log onto 211 Maine, or text your zip code to '898-211' and automatically connect with a friendly Maine specialist.