Senate Aide Pleads 'Not Guilty' to Drug Charges

In a federal courtroom blocks from the Capitol, a Senate aide who spent the past three decades working for Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two serious drug charges related to methamphetamine and date rape drugs. Fred W. Pagan, 49, said little more than "yes, ma'am" during the brief arraignment, and was escorted out of the courtroom by a public defender, who told reporters not to follow along. Pagan indicated he has hired an attorney, and asked not to be contacted by law enforcement without the presence of counsel. Judge Deborah A. Robinson said Pagan would be required to continue to live at his current address in Northwest Washington, which was raided by Homeland Security Investigations agents on April 23, after authorities intercepted a 1.1-kilogram package of gamma-Butyrolactone, a date rape drug known as GBL, which was shipped to the address. Robinson also ordered Pagan to turn over his passport if it is returned by the law enforcement agents who seized it, and submit to pre-trial services, including a drug test. Agents also uncovered 181.5 grams of methamphetamine during the search, according to court documents, and Pagan allegedly confessed to ordering the GBL, a Schedule 1 controlled drug, from a business in China. Pagan allegedly said he planned to distribute both the GBL and the meth in exchange for sexual favors. On Friday, when the arrest became public, Cochran's office suspended Pagan of all duties, pending the outcome of the case. Pagan is charged with one count of possession and intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of importing a controlled substance, crimes that are punishable by up to 60 years in prison. Pagan wore a gray suit and sat solemnly in the front row of the courtroom, next to a man who declined to identify himself to CQ Roll Call. They both followed the public defender out of the hearing in silence. Pagan was ordered to report to the Specialized Supervision Unit of Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia. The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, May 1. Related: Cochran Staffer Confesses to Sex-for-Drugs Scheme, Feds Say The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.