Maine Hockey Journal

AHL on-ice official caught in drug bust

American Hockey League and former ECAC on-ice official Mark Messier was one of 24 people that were indictment last Wednesday in connection with a drug bust that was conducted by Rhode Island State Police and the FBI.

The drug sting named Operation Deception has rocked the city of Providence because of the involvement of several members of the Providence Police Department, who were named in the 23 page indictment that was handed down on Wednesday.

Included in the 89-count indictment was Messier, 52, who has been charged with two counts of soliciting to deliver or purchase cocaine.

On Wednesday, he appeared in a Superior Court in Providence, Rhode Island where he was arraigned, and bail set for $10,000 before being released on his own personal recognizance.

Messier has been member of the Rhode Island Dept. of Corrections for the last 29 years. He began his career as a correctional officer until 2002 when he became a Community Program Counselor, supervising offenders that are under house arrest.

Messier has had a lengthy career on the ice as a linesman, spending the last 21 years with the ECAC before retiring from their staff in 2008. He’s currently with the AHL in the capacity, where he’s been the last 18 years, doing mostly games in New England and Upstate New York.

Spokespersons for both the AHL and ECAC had no comment on situation.

According to RI Dept. of Correction spokeswoman, Tracey E. Zeckhausen, Messier has been suspended with pay pending an administrative hearing.

If convicted on both charges, Messier could be facing a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison.

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