Canadian man gets more than 6 years in drug case

Posted Feb. 04, 2009, at 9:29 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:07 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to

a total of eight years in prison for bring oxycodone pills across the

border, selling them to a middleman who distributed them in Penobscot

County, then, failing to show up for his arraignment.

Arthur Michael Kinsella, 48, of St. John, New Brunswick, was convicted in August after a four day jury trial of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone between January 2003 and December 2004 and of possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone in March 2005.

A different jury found him guilty in April 2008 of failing to appear in court 2½ years earlier.

In addition to the sentence on the drug charges, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Kinsella on Wednesday to a year in prison for failing to appear for his arraignment in August 2005. The two sentences are to be served consecutively.

Kinsella faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John “Jack” Nichols recommended that Woodcock sentence Kinsella to between 10 and 12½ years in prison due to the number of drugs he sold in Bangor. Virginia Villa, the federal public defender who represented Kinsella, urged the judge to use a more conservative calculation in deciding how many pills her client distributed and sentence him to between 6½ and eight years in prison.

Kinsella was arrested in Brewer in March 2005 with a prescription bottle with his name on it that contained 90 oxycodone pills. The bottle was found in his mother’s purse. He was released on bail on April 1, 2005, and indicted by a federal grand jury 12 days later.

When he did not show up for his arraignment five months later, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Kinsella was arrested and extradited from Canada in September 2007. He has been held without bail since then.

Kinsella’s mother told police at the time of her son’s arrest that he had picked her up and they were going to Bangor International Airport to pick up her daughter. She said her son had asked her to put the pills in her purse and did not declare them when they crossed the border at the Milltown bridge crossing in Calais.

Federal prosecutors learned of Kinsella’s alleged drug activities in December 2004 from a defendant who then was awaiting sentencing on federal drug charges, according to court documents. He told prosecutors that he obtained an average of 150 oxycodone pills a month from Kinsella and distributed them in the Bangor area.

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