Alton woman sentenced to 18 months for trying to buy guns for three felons

Posted July 07, 2009, at 8:34 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge Tuesday gave an Alton woman an 18-month “timeout” in federal prison for trying to buy guns for three Massachusetts gang members who moved to Bangor to sell drugs.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also sentenced Katrina Wickett, 25, to three years of supervised release after she completes her sentence.

Wickett admitted lying on an application to buy guns in October 2007 at a Bangor pawn shop for Levar Carey, 26, of Brockton, Mass., James Damon, 22, of North Easton, Mass., and Christopher Riley, 25, of Brockton, Mass.

Wickett, who lived in Bangor two years ago, began dating Carey two months before she tried to buy the guns, according to court documents.

The men are prohibited from buying or possessing firearms because of felony convictions on drug and other charges in Massachusetts. They moved to Bangor to set up a drug-selling operation and operated out of Wickett’s apartment for a short time, according to court documents.

“Miss Wickett,” Woodcock said in imposing sentence, “there is a saying that a person becomes known by the company she keeps. By that measure, the fact that you were keeping company with gang members and drug dealers says a good deal about who you were.

“These men were never your friends,” he continued. “You should have known that skating so close to them, they would pull you right over the edge.”

Wickett, whose three children from a previous relationship, ages 2, 4 and 6, live with her parents in Alton, apologized to the court through her sobs.

“I was wrong,” she said. “I didn’t take responsibility. I want to go to college. I just want to be with my children.”

Wickett faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, she faced between 15 and 21 months in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Torresen recommended Wickett be sentenced to the high end of the guideline range because she lied to prosecutors after agreeing to cooperate with them.

“The court needs to impose a sentence that will get through to this young woman,” Torresen said. “She needs a timeout.”

Wickett’s Bangor attorney Richard Hartley urged Woodcock to sentence her to 15 months of house arrest rather than prison time.

Wickett, who had been out on bail, began serving her sentence immediately after the sentencing.

Carey, Damon and Riley are serving sentences in federal prisons for being felons in possession of firearms.

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