Peggy Sinclair: Ex-Teacher Faces Charges
Concord — Peggy Sinclair, 50, of Contoocook, is the most unlikely associate of New Hampshire’s only homegrown prison gang, the Brotherhood of White Warriors. As a result, she has brought the gang — and Concord — national attention.
According to a police affidavit, Sinclair, a longtime Concord elementary school teacher, left her husband in February, became romantically involved with 22-year-old BOWW member Matthew Peters and tried to smuggle drugs to him inside the Concord prison. She also assisted other imprisoned BOWW members, according to the affidavit.
“Sinclair provided funding to assist Peters with the purchase and maintenance of a vehicle as well as to obtain an apartment in downtown Concord,” Detective Wade Brown wrote in Sinclair’s arrest affidavit. “She also provided funding to BOWW members by placing money on their phone cards and giving them (reloadable prepaid) credit card numbers” by which they could get cash.
Neither Sinclair nor her estranged husband of 26 years responded to requests for an interview. Her attorney declined comment. But in the couple’s divorce case, which Sinclair initiated in May, her estranged husband said her decision to take up with Peters, a convicted felon from Concord, had threatened the family’s financial security.
“(Peggy Sinclair’s) relationship and cohabitation with a convicted felon has jeopardized the marital estate and the family’s financial circumstances,” David Sinclair wrote in his response to the divorce petition. He is not contesting the divorce, which is still pending. The couple have two children, both out of high school.
Sinclair and Peters met in 2001 when he was a student in her fifth-grade class at Broken Ground Elementary School. Sinclair had spent most of her teaching career at Broken Ground when she was placed on administrative leave in May, following an April arrest for allegedly possessing a prescription drug without a valid prescription. Peters, with whom she was living, was with Sinclair and was charged with illegal possession of marijuana and cocaine.
Sinclair’s April charges were dropped when she produced a valid prescription a month after her arrest. Peters was returned to prison on a parole violation and is awaiting trial.
It was unclear how or when Sinclair and her former student reconnected after Peters’ fifth-grade year. Sinclair’s friends and teaching colleagues did not return requests for on-the-record interviews.
One former school employee said either Peters or his mother had reached out to Sinclair for help within the last few years, as Peters was struggling in school. Peters had responded well in Sinclair’s fifth-grade class, and she seemed to have a positive influence on him, said the former school employee, who requested to remain anonymous.
Peters’ mother declined comment for this story.
According to the Sinclairs’ divorce file, Peggy Sinclair moved out of her Contoocook home in February. By at least April, she and Peters were sharing an apartment on Highland Street, according to court records. The landlord of that apartment did not return a message, but the police have described Sinclair in court records as “one of” Peters’ girlfriends.
Peters, still in prison on the parole violation, was charged in May in connection with a February armed robbery, assault and kidnapping. He is awaiting trial on those charges. While in prison, Peters made “multiple” calls to Sinclair’s cell phone, during which he was arranging the smuggling of the drug Suboxone into the prison, according to investigators who listened to the prison calls, which inmates know are recorded.
On May 17 and June 2, Peters and Sinclair talked about obtaining and mailing drugs into the prison, using code words such as “pictures” and “resumes” for drugs, according to a police affidavit. In between those calls, Sinclair filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” During the June 2 call, Sinclair told Peters she was in Manchester with another suspected BOWW member to obtain “pictures” she would mail to him in prison, according to the affidavit.
Prison authorities intercepted the envelopes Sinclair mailed containing drugs and matched her DNA to the DNA found on the envelopes’ seals, according to the police. She mailed both letters from the Downing Street apartment she rented after Peters was returned to prison, according to the police.
She was arrested in August on six drug charges and two breach of bail charges because her previous prescription drug charge was pending when she allegedly mailed the two letters. Last month, the Merrimack County grand jury indicted Sinclair on two felony counts of conspiracy to deliver articles to the prison. She is awaiting trial at Merrimack County jail, where she has been held since August on $32,000 cash bail.
If convicted, Sinclair faces 3½ to seven years in prison for each charge. — Annmarie Timmons and Jeremy Blackman