Tuesday, May 21, 2013
AUGUSTA -- One of a three men accused of making methamphetamine at a Monmouth home pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.
James W. Renaud, 33, of Monmouth, was sentenced to four years in jail, with all but 41 days suspended, and two years of probation. He was also fined $400.
Renaud was given credit for the 41 days he has spent in jail since his arrest June 20, and was expected to be released.
Renaud apologized in court Wednesday to Justice Michaela Murphy.
"Being in jail has awakened me to an experience I never thought would happen," he said, adding that he was grateful for the wake-up call.
He also said he was sorry for embarrassing his family.
Renaud, his brother Robert Dumont, 27, of Monmouth, and Brandon Proctor, 42, of Oxford, all were arrested June 20 on drug-trafficking charges in connection with a raid at a mobile home at 307 Cressey Road.
Renaud's attorney, Walter McKee, said the three men were manufacturing the methamphetamine for their own personal use. McKee said the drug was being made in a soda bottle, not in a laboratory, and they were making only enough for one day at a time.
"Clearly, Mr. Renaud needs some treatment," McKee said. "This is a very addictive drug."
The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Brad Grant, said suspicions were raised because of frequent purchases of over-the-counter medication, pseudoephedrine, which is used in making methamphetamine.
Then a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officer, Lowell Woodman Jr., saw one of the three men "burping" or releasing pressure from a bottle on the back porch of the home, which was under surveillance, according to an affidavit Woodman filed with the court.
Grant had asked the judge to impose a six-month initial period of incarceration for Renaud.
"From the state's perspective, methamphetamine is a very significant drug -- one that ruins people's lives," Grant said.
The charges against Dumont and Proctor remain pending, and both are free on bail.