The mystery surrounding Vice President Mike Pence’s abruptly canceled trip to Manchester, New Hampshire earlier this month has been revealed, as Politico reported that it was so he could avoid shaking hands with a man under investigation for allegedly dealing drugs in the state.
If Pence had made the trip, one of the people he would have seen on the ground was former New York Giants player Jeff Hatch, who was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for moving more than $100,000 of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.
Hatch, who agreed in federal court Friday to plead guilty and will face up to four years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, works for an opioid addiction treatment center in southern New Hampshire that Pence was set to visit.
A law enforcement official said Hatch agreed to help authorities arrest higher-up dealers in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
Hatch had spoken publicly for years about his experiences with drug and alcohol addiction, which ended his football career.
The vice president’s office declined to comment, although aides said they would reschedule his trip to New Hampshire.
There was uncertainly and mystery the day of the sudden cancelation, as the White House refused to discuss it and there were conflicting explanations surrounding the reason from different authorities, CNN reported.
However, it was clear to reporters that something unusual was occurring, because canceling a trip moments before a presidential aircraft is scheduled to depart is rare.
In fact, the incident was so unexpected that Secret Service agents had to scramble to send Pence’s motorcade to the airport so he could get to the White House.