Winn man gets 63 months for fraud, drugs

Posted Jan. 14, 2009, at 11:28 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:08 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge called a Winn man a liar before sentencing him Wednesday to more than five years in prison on drug and Social Security fraud charges.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock imposed the sentence on ex-Marine Raymond “Rocky” Fogg after the federal prosecutor said Fogg betrayed and dishonored the Marine Corps honor code when he lied at his jury trial last year. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey urged the judge to sentence him to the maximum allowed under the sentencing guidelines

But Fogg’s attorney, Peter Rodway of Portland, told Woodcock that a sentence of a year and a day, which would allow the defendant to earn good time, was all that was needed to punish his client.

During the sentencing, Fogg’s friends, family and fellow members of the Lincoln-area Marine Corps League, an organization for veterans, described the 56-year-old Winn man, who was convicted of drug smuggling and Social Security fraud, as a loving and giving person who connected with children and successfully organized local Toys for Tots programs.

The judge was not persuaded by their words of praise.

“It’s hard to reconcile, Mr. Fogg, the person I’ve heard described today with the person I saw in this courtroom at trial,” Woodcock said in imposing the 63-month prison sentence recommended by the prosecution. “You have been leading a double life — one as an outstanding citizen and another as a drug dealer and Social Security defrauder.”

Fogg and Anthony Caparotta, 44, of Caribou were found guilty in June 2008 of conspiracy to distribute marijuana with Michael Pelletier, 57, of St. David. The jury also found Fogg guilty of Social Security fraud. Woodcock presided over their trial.

Caparotta was sentenced in October to 68 months in federal prison after he threw himself on Woodcock’s mercy and admitted that he had lied to his attorney, the jury and the judge in proclaiming his innocence.

Woodcock said Wednesday that it was his own observations of Fogg during his trial that convinced him that the Winn man deserved to spend more than five years in federal prison.

“It is beyond any shadow of my doubt that the defendant took the stand and lied,” Woodcock said in sentencing Fogg. “He repeatedly, deliberately and willfully lied in this courtroom.

“He lied about his physical appearance,” he continued, referring to the fact that Fogg shaved off his beard before the trial, “and intended to use his prior service in the Marine Corps and involvement in the Marine Corps League to convince the jury that he was telling the truth when in fact he knew he was lying.

“You did not have to lie,” Woodcock said. “You could have remained silent. Instead, you took the stand and you flat-out lied.”

In addition to 63 months in prison, the judge also sentenced Fogg to four years of supervised release. He found that Fogg could not afford to pay a fine or nearly $40,000 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Fogg faced between 51 and 63 months in prison and a fine of between $10,000 and $1 million. He also could have been ordered to repay the more than $260,000 the prosecution estimated he earned from selling marijuana for Pelletier between October 2003 and October 2004.

Unlike his co-defendant, Fogg did not admit his guilt or admit lying on the stand. He thanked the 16 supporters who attended his 3½-hour-long sentencing.

“I’d like to get back to the community and doing what I’ve been doing,” he told the judge.

Fogg is one of six men who have been convicted of being part of a marijuana smuggling ring that stretched from the St. John Valley to the Portland area.

John Pascucci, 51, aka “Scoochy,” of Gorham pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, one week after his jury trial was to have begun.

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.

Their sentencing dates have not been set. Both men are being held without bail pending sentencing.

Pelletier was sentenced a year ago to life 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.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

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