Man pleads guilty to marijuana smuggling

Posted Jan. 12, 2009, at 8:56 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:04 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Gorham man considered to be the southern Maine connection for an Aroostook County marijuana smuggling ring pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to drug charges — one week after his jury trial was to have begun.

John Pascucci, 51, aka “Scoochy,” pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Pascucci admitted Monday that he distributed marijuana for Michael Pelletier, 57, of St. David between Jan. 1, 2003, and sometime in 2006, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He faces 10 years to life in federal prison and a fine of up to $8 million. In a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Pascucci agreed not to appeal his sentence to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston unless it is longer than 10 years.

Pascucci will be held without bail until his sentencing before U.S. District Judge John Woodcock. A sentencing date has not been set.

He is the last of six defendants to be found guilty or to plead guilty in the case.

Pelletier was sentenced a year ago to 20 years in federal prison after being found guilty by a jury in July 2007 of drug smuggling, money laundering and Social Security fraud. Pelletier, who uses a wheelchair, had previous convictions in state court on drug charges.

Michael Easler, 28, of St. David was sentenced in August 2007 to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug and money laundering charges.

Raymond “Rocky” Fogg, 56, of Winn and Anthony Caparotta, 44, of Caribou were found guilty in June 2008 of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The jury also found Fogg guilty of Social Security fraud.

Caparotta was sentenced in October to five years, eight months in federal prison after he threw himself on the mercy of the court and admitted he had lied to his attorney, the jury and the judge in proclaiming his innocence.

Fogg is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

Ben Dionne, 29, of St. David pleaded guilty on Jan. 5 to drug conspiracy and failure to appear charges, the day before he was to have gone on trial with Pascucci. Dionne’s plea agreement includes a clause that allows him to appeal his sentence only if it is longer than 41 months.

Dionne’s sentencing date has not been set. He is being held without bail pending sentencing.

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