Bates professor arrested for cocaine distribution
Linda Williams, a music professor at Bates College, was arrested for selling cocaine and letting drug dealers stay in her home this Monday. Williams was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, and two counts of distributing crack cocaine. If convicted she could face up to 20 years in jail and fines of up to one million dollars.
According to U.S. Attorney Jon Toof, Williams, 50, was involved with a group of dealers in the Lewiston and Augusta areas. However, there is no evidence that Williams sold cocaine to students at Bates. Court documents indicate that Williams also allowed two drug dealers to stay in her house in return for cocaine. In addition, the documents indicate that Williams hosted a barbecue where crack cocaine was cooked on her kitchen stove.
The two who stayed at her home are Easton "Bill" Wilson and Roderick "Rod" Allen. Wilson has been charged and is awaiting trial, while Allen has not been apprehended.
The investigation began in January when an undisclosed source from jail informed police of Williams's activities. According to the affidavit by Brian Featheringham, a senior special agent with the Customs Service, two more informants came to the police and eventually one of the informants agreed to be equipped with an electronic transmitter. After Williams was arrested on Friday, a search warrant was conducted which resulted in the seizure of drugs and other drug-related items.
Williams' lawyer Neria Douglass said her client got into trouble because of her kindness. Her lawyer says Williams was kind enough to allow the two people stay in her house and didn't realize what activities they were involved in until it was too late.
Williams is a tenured music professor at Bates who arrived in 1996 as a lecturer. She received her doctorate from Indiana University and specializes in the study of African-American music. Williams was granted the Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research in Cape Town, South Africa and study the impact of American jazz on musical cultures of Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa. She would have been preparing to leave at the time she was arrested.
During her court appearance, several Bates professors and her sister came in support of Williams. She was then taken to Cumberland County Jail.
Because Bates students finished classes last week and a majority of the student body is now at home William's arrest did not affect the Bates community to any great extent. The admissions office at Bates also stated that the issue has not affected perspective students who may be attending Bates next fall. Likewise, the Office of Admissions office at Bowdoin has not heard perspective students saying that they may be considering Bowdoin over Bates after learning about William's arrest.
Although most of the students at Bates have gone home, many faculty members are still on campus. William Hiss, VP of external affairs, said that "Several of her colleagues expressed sorrow and great concern," after they learned that Williams was arrested.