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A.G. report: Tasker used drugs in State House, sold to a handful of state reps

  • Kyle Tasker

Monitor staff
Published: 9/30/2016 3:48:35 PM

Former state representative Kyle Tasker of Nottingham used marijuana in the State House and sold the drug to a small number of state legislators as part of a drug distribution business he was running, according to a report released by the N.H. Attorney General’s office Friday.

None of those legislators will be charged, however, due to lack of evidence, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Republican State Reps. Joseph Lachance of Manchester and Pamela Tucker of Greenland, bought marijuana from Tasker, according to the Attorney General’s report. Three others communicated with Tasker about marijuana, including Rep. Amanda Bouldin of Manchester, Rep. Ted Wright of Sanbornville and former Rep. Shem Kellogg of Plaistow. Kellogg died in June after a battle with cancer.

The Attorney General found no evidence of “pervasive illicit drug transactions at the State House or among elected officials.” The representatives who were interviewed during the investigation said they only bought or discussed marijuana believed Tasker was trying to help people who needed it for medical reasons before the state’s alternative treatment centers opened.

“All seemed to believe that Tasker was trying to help people who needed marijuana for medicinal purposes but could not obtain it legally in New Hampshire,” the report said.

Besides selling marijuana, Tasker is accused of selling or possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms, MDMA and buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid used to treat drug addiction.

The report said Lachance bought marijuana from Tasker six to eight times over a period of eight months.

Lachance, a Republican, doesn’t dispute the report. A U.S. Army veteran who suffers from chronic pain, Lachance said he bought the drug from Tasker while he waited for the state’s medical marijuana program to get up and running.

The state legalized pot for medicinal use in 2013, but the four centers allowed to distribute the drug in New Hampshire didn’t open until this year.

“I had no other option,” said Lachance, who got his medical marijuana card from the state in December 2015. “If the dispensaries were open, I wouldn’t have had to find Tasker.”

Lachance was previously addicted to prescription painkillers, he said, but kicked the habit a few years ago and found marijuana helped manage his pain.

“Marijuana saved my life, and I will never apologize for it,” said Lachance, who filed the bill this year to reauthorize expanded Medicaid and is seeking reelection.

The report said online evidence exists that shows Lachance talking with Tasker about buying drugs, but the Attorney General is not pressing charges.

“Lachance appears to have purchased marijuana for what would now be considered medically appropriate use,” the report said, concluding a jury would likely acquit.

Lachance described Tasker as the “Club Med of weed,” because he had a variety of high-end strains of marijuana, some as much as $400 an ounce.

Tucker is the other legislator the report identifies as having bought marijuana from Tasker. In interviews, Tucker said she bought marijuana from the Nottingham man once and bought two small vials of an “elixir” that contained marijuana. The transaction occurred in the Storrs Street garage, the report says.

Tucker is not seeking re-election. She announced a bid for Congress in the 1st district, but dropped out in May.

Wright met Tasker though a shared interest in marijuana legalization, but does not say Wright ever bought or communicated about buying marijuana with Tasker, according to the report.

Bouldin knew Tasker sold drugs and used marijuana with him one time when he drove her home, the report said. She was also with him when he smoked marijuana in a State House anteroom, or waiting room.

Bouldin’s attorney Seth Hipple said in a statement the Manchester representative never bought drugs from Tasker.

“In fact, she never even inquired about buying drugs from Tasker, not once. Nor did she ever smoke marijuana at the State House, despite some inaccurate reporting to the contrary,” Hipple said. “Amanda will continue working to reduce the harm to her constituents caused by the drug war and the opioid crisis, as she has done since her first day in the Legislature.”

The AG’s office began its investigation in March, after receiving information that Tasker was involved in drug activity at the State House.

A search of Tasker’s iPad and Facebook accounts revealed communication with the five state representatives who had either made a payment to him through an online application or “appeared either to have communicated with him about drug transactions,” according to the report.

None of the legislators knew Tasker’s source or “knew much, if anything, about Tasker’s illicit drug business or his other customers,” the report said.

Tasker was indicted on drug and sexual exploitation charges by a Rockingham County jury in June.

Tasker faces 13 felonies in all. He is charged with four counts of certain uses of computer services prohibited after he allegedly used a Facebook account to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual encounter in Northwood, according to indictments. He also faces six counts of possession of drugs with intent to distribute, and one count each of felonious use of a firearm, conspiracy to sell or distribute a controlled drug, and possessing ecstasy.

Police said previously that a search of Tasker’s home uncovered “vast amounts” of controlled drugs, including marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, ecstasy, hash oil and Buprenorphine.

Tasker previously served on the Children and Family Law Committee and before that was a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

He resigned from the Legislature following his arrest.

House Speaker Shawn Jasper said legislators take an oath to uphold the state’s laws and Constitution.

“Any member of the House who has knowingly committed a criminal offense should consider whether their actions have compromised the dignity and integrity of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, or have done a disservice to their constituents,” Jasper said. “There are no charges, and therefore no criminal proceedings, but the voters will decide whether or not the representatives running for reelection deserve their votes.”

(Allie Morris contributed to this report. Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, enilsen@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)


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