CARIBOU, Maine — A Hamlin woman was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of probation last week for her role in a methamphetamine distribution ring uncovered by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Lynn Martin, 43, who had no prior criminal convictions, will spend the next five years, less earned “good time,” at the Maine State Prison, according to a news release issued this week by the Aroostook County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case.
During a sentencing hearing last Thursday at Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou, Justice E. Allen Hunter suspended three years of an eight-year sentence and placed Martin on probation for three years after her release from prison. He also imposed a $5,000 fine for the drug trafficking charge, according to the release.
Martin previously had pleaded not guilty and exercised her right to a jury trial in August. This month, however, she was convicted after a jury rendered a guilty verdict on the single count of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, a Class B felony, after a 1½-day trial. Assistant District Attorney Todd Collins represented the state during the prosecution and sentencing.
Undercover MDEA agents began buying methamphetamine tablets from two retail dealers in the Fort Fairfield area in 2008. After gaining the suspects’ confidence, an agent was taken to their supplier — Martin.
Though the agent was not allowed inside Martin’s home, the other suspect entered the residence, returning with methamphetamine, which was sold to the agent.
Martin later was arrested, but refused to admit her involvement in the crime.
Collins asked the court to impose a significant sentence to discourage others who might be tempted to follow Martin’s footsteps as a drug dealer. In announcing the sentence, Hunter declared that the eight-year sentence and $5,000 fine should serve as “fair warning” of the harsh criminal consequences for those who seek to engage in illegal trafficking in drugs in Aroostook County.
MDEA has been investigating widespread distribution of methamphetamine tablets for about four years. All of the tablets are believed to be manufactured in Canada and smuggled into Maine.
According to the news release, the tablets resemble Ecstacy, or MDMA, tablets and often are referred to as “Yaba.”
Anyone with information about illegal drug use and trafficking in Aroostook County is encouraged to speak with an MDEA agent. Information can be provided confidentially by calling 532-5169 or online at www.maine.gov/dps/mdea/.