Knox couple charged after toddler exposed to drugs, found unsupervised

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 11:00pm

    ROCKLAND — The parents of a 3-year-old boy who was found wandering alone last month at the Rockland Ferry Terminal and was allegedly exposed to drugs have been charged, according to Rockland Police Chief Chris Young in a news release May 25.

    Rockland Police and Maine Drug Enforcement Agents arrested Paul Mahonen Jr., 43, and Nicole Caven-Gardner, 32, both of the town of Knox.

    Mahonen was charged with Class A aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs and Caven-Gardner was charged with Class D endangering the welfare of a child.

    Police said that the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected to be filed against Mahonen and Caven-Gardner.

    The two were released on bail, according to the court document. Mahonen was released on personal recognizance bail and Caven-Gardner posted $250 unsecured bail.

    Both are scheduled to make their initial court appearance in Knox County Court June 28.

    On April 27, shortly before 9 a.m., police were dispatched to the Rockland Ferry Terminal for a report of an unsupervised child in the parking lot, according to Young.  

    Rockland Police located the child, but were unable to identify or locate the child’s parents. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services responded to assist.

    Rockland Police went door-to-door in the surrounding neighborhood attempting to locate the child’s parents. Those attempts were unsuccessful and a photograph of the child was posted on the department’s social media account. Information gained from the social media post lead Rockland Police to make contact with the parents at a nearby hotel.

    The child was ultimately transported to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for medical care and found to have been exposed/ingested illicit drugs.

    During the investigation, Rockland Police recovered a large amount of cocaine and fentanyl in the hotel room occupied by the parents.

    The court appointed attorney representing Caven-Gardner is Ian L’Heureux of Conley and Warrick, P.A. in Bath. The attorney representing Mahonen was not listed in the court document.

    Sarah Shepherd can be reached at