WISCASSET — A former lawmaker from Dresden pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he failed to disclose a felony conviction when obtaining a hunting license.

An attorney for Jeffrey Pierce, a former two-term Republican representative from Dresden, entered the not guilty plea by mail for his client at District Court in Wiscasset, where he was scheduled for arraignment Thursday. Pierce has been charged with three counts of fraudulently obtaining or possessing a hunting license, a Class E misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Pierce was convicted of felony drug trafficking more than 35 years ago, which means he – like any other convicted felon in the state – is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. The state application for a hunting permit explicitly asks if an applicant is a felon or is otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. But state records show that Pierce had purchased multiple firearms hunting permits over the years and tagged game on them.

The Maine Warden Service alleges in summonses issued to Pierce that he obtained hunting licenses “through fraud, misstatement or misrepresentation” in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Maine has a three-year statute of limitations on some fish and game license application violations.

There were 15 cases involving fraudulent applications for a hunting license or permit between Jan. 1, 2017, and Thursday, according to warden service data obtained through a Freedom of Access Act request.

The Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office had recommended $500 fines for each of the violations. Pierce, who was pardoned for his drug conviction last year by former Gov. Paul LePage, has said he had forgotten the felony conviction because it was so long ago and that, in the decades since, he had turned his life around to become a successful businessman and family man.

Pierce also has said that he was the victim of a “witch hunt” orchestrated by groups opposed to his unsuccessful re-election campaign last year.

Now that Pierce has pleaded not guilty, he and his attorneys will decide whether to request a jury trial or how to proceed.

Staff Writer Scott Thistle contributed to this report.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 791-6312 or at:

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