Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By Craig Crosby email@example.com
A Belgrade man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in trafficking prescription drugs from Florida into Maine, a scheme he continued with his wife even from behind jail bars.
Curtis Ray Simmons, 50, who lives in Belgrade and Florida, was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Portland to 9 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
Simmons, who also must forfeit about $23,000 and a shotgun, will spend three years under supervised release when he gets out.
His wife, Alison Simmons-Murphy, 46, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. She is scheduled to be sentence Aug. 24.
Maine Drug Enforcement Agents and Kennebec County Sheriff’s deputies searched Simmons’s home at 923 West Road in Belgrade in August 2010. There, authorities seized more than 600 oxycodone pills, about $23,000 in cash and a loaded shotgun, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said in a news release.
Court documents filed by drug agents at the time of the arrest noted that Simmons was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms.
Simmons-Murphy was one of two women inside the home during the search.
Agents charged both four people in total, including Simmons, Simmons-Murphy and Dakota Bonnell, 21, of Augusta, with aggravated trafficking in prescription drugs. The fourth person, a woman, is not being identified because it appears charges against her were dropped.
An affidavit filed at the time by Maine Drug Enforcement Agent Christopher Blodgett said Simmons made regular trips to Florida for prescription drugs to sell out of his mobile home on West Road in Belgrade.
In addition to the prescription medication and cash, the search of Simmons’s home uncovered drug ledgers and a receipt for a shipment to Bonnell, according to Blodgett. Agents also seized eight marijuana plants.
Agents said Bonnell was preparing for an overnight trip to Old Orchard Beach when they arrived to search his Augusta apartment. Inside Bonnell’s packed bags they found $9,000 and a small scale, Blodgett said, and in his apartment agents found drug ledgers and a box shipped from Florida by Simmons-Murphy.
“The shipping box contained a small stuffed animal that had been ripped open,” Blodgett said. “This is a common way known to send prescription drugs through the mail.”
Published reports indicate Bonnell, who was 19 at the time of his arrest, was sentenced in December 2010 in Kennebec County Superior Court to six years in jail with all but 11 months suspended.
Bonnell, who was found guilty of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and criminal forfeiture of $9,000 between Aug. 1 and Aug. 20, 2010, also was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $800.
Simmons was held at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $75,000 cash bail or $250,000 in property. Simmons-Murphy was released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
Delahanty said this week that law enforcement learned that Simmons, while still in jail, worked with his wife to arrange another shipment of oxycodone pills from Florida to Maine.
“After receiving this information, agents with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration met Simmons’s wife as she got off of an airplane at the Portland International Jetport,” Delahanty said. “Agents seized 520 oxycodone pills from her bags.”
Craig Crosby — 621-5642