Mike Pence Canceled Visit To New Hampshire Addiction Center To Avoid Meeting Alleged Drug Dealer Jeff Hatch
Vice President Mike Pence canceled a trip to a New Hampshire drug treatment center last month in order to avoid meeting an alleged drug dealer who was under investigation by federal authorities.
On July 2, Pence was scheduled to fly to Granite Recovery Centers to give a speech on the opioid crisis that has wracked the country in recent years. Mid-flight Air Force Two, the official mode of transportation for the vice president, turned around, and organizers in New Hampshire told attendees that Pence had canceled his visit due to security concerns.
The real reason for the vice president’s absence was revealed earlier this week as federal documents were unsealed describing an undercover drug bust. One of the figures who Pence was scheduled to meet was Jeff Hatch, a former player for the New York Giants football team who has allegedly been recovering from a serious opioid addiction for over a decade.
Last Friday, Hatch pleaded guilty to selling and transporting drugs and now faces up to four years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. After his confession became common knowledge, he was promptly fired from his job as the chief business development officer at the Granite Recovery Centers.
Hatch first became addicted to opioids in his 20s as a result of serious football injuries and only began his path to recovery after his parents found him overdosed in Tampa. Since then, Hatch has become a proponent for opioid addiction awareness and treatment, frequently giving speeches on his experience with drugs.
However, Hatch was caught in 2017 importing hundreds of grams of fentanyl from Massachusetts and then attempting to sell them to an undercover federal agent. The former footballer’s case was sealed as he agreed to work with federal officials to go after a higher dealer in the supply chain. For the next two years, he provided information to the government in order to help them catch more important members of the drug ring. It was during this period that Pence was scheduled to meet with him. Once the vice president discovered that Hatch was a felon, he canceled his trip, as it is not the usual American policy for leaders of the state to meet with interstate drug dealers.