A Lewiston man who taught at a private school in Freeport faces federal charges after being arrested at his home for allegedly allowing his property to be used for selling drugs.

Noel Thibodeau, 43, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of maintaining a drug-involved premises and was being held in the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

Thibodeau is accused of allowing his home at 5 Bradford St. in Lewiston to be used for drug activity between January 2013 and July 2014. If convicted of the felony offense, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

He was listed as a Spanish and French teacher on the website of the Coastal Studies for Girls, a school near Wolfe Neck Farm in Freeport. The boarding school provides semester-long science and leadership programs for sophomore girls.

The indictment says Thibodeau “while managing and controlling the residence located at 5 Bradford St., Lewiston, Maine … knowingly and intentionally made available for use, with or without compensation, said residence for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing and using a controlled substance.”

The property owned by Thibodeau is a 1½-story house with a detached single-car garage located off Sabattus Street east of the downtown. A neighbor said police were there at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and had been there about a week earlier to arrest someone else.

The indictment also seeks to have Thibodeau forfeit his property and any profits from the enterprise.

A hearing on whether Thibodeau should be released on bail is scheduled for Monday. A trial is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 8.

Coastal Studies for Girls issued a statement Thursday saying that it conducts thorough background checks on employees and that Thibodeau had no criminal history “and exhibited no signs of engaging in inappropriate behavior of any kind.”

“Coastal Studies for Girls was shocked and disappointed to hear (Wednesday) that its former World Languages teacher was arrested,” Pam Erickson, the school’s executive director, said in the statement. Thibodeau no longer works for the school, the statement said.

The school’s academic program does not run during the summer and Thibodeau last taught there in June.

A 1993 graduate of the University of Maine, Thibodeau received his master’s degree from the university in 1997, according to a page on the Freeport school’s website. The page also said Thibodeau taught French, Spanish and theater at St. Dominic Regional High School in Auburn from 1999 to 2009. The school has since removed the information from its website.

The case was investigated by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Roy McKinney, director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, while not speaking specifically about the Thibodeau case, said drug dealers often set up in someone else’s house.

“Its not unusual for out-of-state, out-of-town dealers, to connect with someone who is in the know in the area and provides a base of operations,” he said.

State law does not have a comparable statute to the federal law that makes it a felony for a person to allow someone to deal drugs from their property, he said. The closest thing, he said, would be charging someone with criminal conspiracy.

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