BRENTWOOD — A 33-year-old woman formerly employed as a Londonderry Middle School teacher and Haverhill, Massachusetts, substitute teacher was sent to New Hampshire State Prison Feb. 3 after admitting to conspiring to sell large amounts of heroin and fentanyl.
Court records detail Margaret "Megan" Herrmann’s struggle with addiction and efforts to maintain sobriety leading up to this week’s sentencing in Rockingham Superior Court.
After pleading guilty, she was ordered to spend the next two to five years in prison for participating in a large-scale fentanyl operation, according to court records. She also must undergo drug treatment and counseling.
Herrmann was arrested alongside her ex-boyfriend Joseph Grasso, 37, and Trevor Phillips, 27, in a Walmart parking lot on June 26, 2019 after meeting a police informant to sell drugs for the fourth time, court records show.
Herrmann is the first of the trio to be sentenced.
The investigation that led to the arrests was an effort by the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force that began in May 2019.
Herrmann's court file reads in part, “(She) was involved in several large fentanyl sales and was part of a group that possessed a full pound of fentanyl.”
According to her attorney, Timothy Harrington, Herrmann has been in a recovery program since July 2019 and “currently has over 60 days of sobriety” as of Jan. 31.
Her life took a turn when she was 23 and diagnosed with serious health issues that led to stomach swelling, nausea, and eventually kidney failure, according to Harrington.
Records say she started the Londonderry teaching job shortly after earning a college degree in 2009, and went on to the part-time Haverhill job from 2016 until 2018.
“However, as a result of her growing issues with substance abuse, Megan found it difficult to keep a job teaching,” her attorney wrote in the sentencing memorandum.
She was repeatedly prescribed combinations of Oxycodone and Oxycontin to manage her pain before a final, two-week prescription came with directions to “self-wean” off the narcotics.
Herrmman’s attorney said his client “continued purchasing Oxycodone illegally, before eventually turning to heroin and fentanyl, which were cheaper and more readily accessible.”
At the height of her addiction, Herrmann was consuming up to 7 grams of heroin a day, according to court records.