WOONSOCKET — When police arrested 27-year-old Maurice Godin on drug charges last week, they didn’t just get their man.
They got the last laugh.
Strange as it seems, Godin made no effort to keep his illicit behavior a secret from the authorities. On the contrary, police say he had a history of boasting directly to police officers about being a “good drug dealer” and sometimes berated them for being unable to catch him.
His bizarre posturing continued even after police entered his 254 Rathbun St. apartment on Friday, where undercover officers seized an ounce of cocaine, two pounds of marijuana and $7,000 in cash, says Detective Lt. Eugene Jalette.
“In the house he was telling police he was having an ‘off’ day, that we hit him at a bad time time, it’s not big what you got me with,” said Jalette.
Godin was among four people arrested during the raid, which marked the culmination of an undercover investigation which had last several months. He’s now held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions on one count of possession of a controlled susbstance with the intent to deliver and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Though he’s been arrested over a dozen times during the last decade on a pastiche of criminal charges, he’s only been arrested once before on a drug charge, a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana for which he received a no-jail-time, suspended sentence after entering a plea of no contest in 2003.
There is probably no better-documented example of Godin’s in-your-face relationship with the police than an encounter he had with a policeman on a traffic detail last April.
Patrolman Daniel Lajoie was directing traffic on Carrington Avenue and had seen Godin repeatedly enter and leave a house on the street for the better part of an afternoon, according to reports.
Once, Godin’s car was blocked by another vehicle as he attempted to leave, and he became enraged. “Do something,” he barked at the policeman.
Moments later the vehicle blocking Godin’s path moved aside, but Godin continued yelling and swearing at Lajoie, saying, “That’s why you f---ing cops will not catch me. You’re too f...ing obvious. I’m a drug dealer and you’ll never catch me.”
At that point Lajoie instructed Godin to pull over, advising him he was under arrest for disorderly conduct. Lajoie tried grabbing Godin’s shirt through the open window of his car in attempts to persuade him to stop, but Godin hit the gas and, allegedly, steered the vehicle into the policeman, knocking him backwards and nearly running over his foot. Godin’s vehicle grazed a curb and sped away.
It was several days later before police caught up with Godin, at which point he was arrested on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. State prosecutors eventually dismissed those charges, saying the evidence was insufficient to substantiate them at trial, according to police.
Detective Sgt. John Scully says Godin’s run-in with Lajoie was hardly unique. Godin had a well-known reputation for egging on, and putting down, the police.
“He’s always taunted us,” says Scully, the president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers union. “He’d drive by police details pretending he’s smoking weed, with his fingers squeezed together at his lips. Eventually it all comes to an end.”