April 23, 2013

Waterville drug traffickers sentenced to prison Monday

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Two Waterville men have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a drug-trafficking conspiracy in which prescription drugs and cocaine sent from New York were sold in central Maine.

Patrick Hanson, 22, who was sentenced Monday to 60 months in federal prison, told the court he would not be involved with drugs again. In addition, Jesse Jones, 25, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Hanson had pleaded guilty previously in U.S. District Court in Bangor to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute oxycodone and 500 grams or more of cocaine as well as a charge of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances.

At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge John A . Woodcock Jr., Hanson "vowed to change his habits," according to his attorney, Ronald Bourget.

"He doesn't want to go back to the same drug community," Bourget said Tuesday. "He acknowledged how negatively drug abuse affects him and other people. He wants to rid himself of negativity and start anew."

Hanson's prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release.

Jones had pleaded guilty to charges that he intended to possess and did distribute cocaine and oxycodone.

His attorney, Leonard Sharon, said that under federal guidelines Jones could have been sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison, and the prosecutor supported the longer term.

"However, Jesse gave a meaningful and heartfelt allocution, which included reasonable plans upon his release," Sharon said via email Tuesday. "His girlfriend has stood by him during his incarceration and she indicated he will be living with her and her three children. Jesse's (mother) spoke to Judge Woodcock and said that she would provide another pair of eyes during his supervised release and she felt that he had grown since this period of incarceration."

Another Waterville man, Maurice McCray, was described by the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey, as the person who arranged to have prescription drugs and cocaine sent from New York to Maine. McCray pleaded guilty last month to distributing prescription drugs and cocaine.

In all, 20 people from Albion, Augusta, Farmingdale, Skowhegan, Waterville and New York were charged in federal court in connection with the trafficking conspiracy. Most were arrested a year ago.

Several others charged in the same conspiracy are scheduled for hearings April 30 in Bangor. Cassandra Ware, of Albion, and Saul Hernandez, of Augusta, are scheduled for sentencing hearings; and Tara Pelletier, of Waterville, is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing. She previously pleaded not guilty to the drug conspiracy and possession charge.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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