Inmate dies at state prison in Windham

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Dennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald, Maine
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Mar. 7—A Waldo County man who was serving a five-year prison sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham died Saturday morning, authorities said.

Arthur Gardiner, 69, of Swanville died shortly after 11 a.m., the Maine Department of Corrections said in a press release Sunday. According to the Department of Corrections, Gardiner's death was not related to COVID-19.

Gardiner was serving time for charges associated with aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs. He was due to be released from the prison in March 2023. He began serving his sentence in 2018.

Gardiner had been in trouble with law enforcement previously.

A five-month investigation into the distribution of oxycodone pills in Waldo County in 2014 led to the arrest of three people, including Gardiner and a Massachusetts man, who was charged with bringing the drug into Maine. Officers with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency made the arrests. At the time of his 2014 arrest, Gardiner had been out on bail for an earlier charge of aggravated trafficking in oxycodone.

Additional details about the circumstances of Gardiner's death were not disclosed Sunday, but state policy requires that whenever there is a prisoner death, the Maine State Police and the Office of Chief Medical Medical must be notified.