It's not a preliminary hearing, it's an initial appearance or an arraignment. He needs to plead not guilty if he has been indicted. The bad news is it sounds like he's charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and that has a four year mandatory minimum prison sentence. He needs a lawyer yesterday. Here is my article on aggravated trafficking: http://lukerioux.com/aggravated-drug-trafficking-maine-minimum-sentences/
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With these charges he had better retain a good local ME criminal law attorney, if at all possible before tomorrow's appearance. If that is not possible & he qualifies ask for the Public Defender. If all else fails plead not guilty. Hire an attorney ASAP
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.
Nobody should ever plead guilty at their first court appearance on charges as serious as this (if on any charge). If a grand jury has met and has issued an indictment against him, he will be called upon to enter a plea. That plea should be not guilty. If the alleged conduct is fairly recent and an indictment has not yet issued, he won't be called upon to enter a plea at all.
The Justice will simply explain that the case must be presented to a grand jury before it can proceed, bail will be established, continued or modified, and he'll be given a date to return to court. By that court appearance, the grand jury will probably have issued an indictment, and he will be arraigned on the charge and will enter a plea of not guilty. Once he is arraigned, the clock will begin ticking toward his trial date. He clearly should get an attorney on board immediately.