April 30. 2013 3:33PM

Former nursing home worker jailed for attempted drug smuggling at jail

Union Leader Correspondent


BRENTWOOD - A former Rockingham County Nursing Home worker was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of attempting to smuggle oxycodone pills into the county jail.

Scott Martin, 24, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a controlled drug with intent to sell Tuesday after striking a plea deal with county prosecutors.

Chief Justice Tina Nadeau ordered Martin to serve at least six months of a year-long jail sentence, saying his attempt to smuggle about 10 oxycodone pills into the county jail undermined the state's efforts to rehabilitate drug users, including those involved in the state's drug court.

Public defender James Godbout said his client was a drug user as well and only agreed to a plan to smuggle in pills as a way to get drugs for himself.

"He was not a profiteer," Godbout said. "He was approached by an inmate where he would be paid in drugs."

Martin was arrested by the Rockingham County Sheriff's Drug Task Force Sept. 13 after taking 15 pills from an undercover deputy referred to him by a jail inmate. Assistant County Attorney Michael Zaino said Martin agreed to keep five of the 15 pills he received from the undercover deputy as a payment for the delivery. The pills taken by Martin were fakes made to look like oxycodone.

Zaino argued that Martin should serve a full year behind bars, saying that the county jail constantly battles with keeping controlled substances out of the hands of inmates.

"He was employed. He was working. This isn't a decision where he was down on his luck," Zaino said, noting Martin's interactions with investigators played out over several days.

Martin agreed to hand off pills to an inmate he worked with in the nursing home's laundry room, according to Zaino.

Godbout argued for Martin to serve 90 days of the year-long jail term so that he could continue with a battery of counseling and treatment he began on his own after his arrest.

"Also, in the broader context of the jail's investigation, he was not the original target," Godbout said. He said the sheriff's department "was investigating drops around the nursing homes and other parts of the facility," used during attempts to get drugs into the jail.