Former Broken Ground teacher pleads guilty in prison drug smuggling scheme
A former Broken Ground teacher accused of shipping drugs to her former student turned boyfriend in prison, an act that drew attention in part because of his alleged ties to a white supremacist gang, has been released from jail after pleading guilty to felony charges.
The woman, Peggy Sinclair, 50, was arrested last summer after prison authorities intercepted mail she sent now-23-year-old Matthew Peters and another inmate that was laced with Suboxone, an easily disguised narcotic. Under a negotiated plea, Sinclair was sentenced Dec. 30 to 2½- to six years in Merrimack County jail, with all but six months suspended upon good behavior.
County prosecutors said they had evidence that Peters had asked Sinclair during phone conversations this spring to mail him and others the drug, using euphemisms such as “letters” and “pictures” to describe the shipments. Sinclair postmarked one letter to Peters on May 17 and another to an inmate named Stefan Gauthier on June 3, according to county indictments.
Sinclair, who had no previous criminal record, had been incarcerated at the jail since her arrest in August. In addition to her suspended sentence, she has been placed on two years of probation.
Peters, who the police have identified as a “street captain” in the Brotherhood of White Warriors, a state prison gang, has been indicted on the same felony charges as Sinclair. He is awaiting trial on separate claims that he helped carry out an armed robbery in Concord early last year with another alleged BOWW member.
Sinclair and Peters were arrested together in Canterbury last April and charged with drug possession. Sinclair was later acquitted in that case after her attorney proved she had a valid prescription for pills she was carrying at the time. Peters was convicted in September of drug possession with intent to distribute.
Sinclair declined to comment yesterday on her sentence or relationship with Peters, whom she met in 2001 when he was her fifth-grade student. She was placed on administrative leave from the school in May, following the April arrest, and is no longer employed by the district.
(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)