PORTLAND, Maine — A Rhode Island man who has admitted supplying cocaine to a Lincoln-Lee distribution ring was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 2½ years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Laurent “Larry” Provost, 62, of Woonsocket, R.I., also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
In addition, U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby ordered Provost to forfeit $100,000 in cash, which is estimated to be the profit Provost earned in the drug conspiracy.
Provost pleaded guilty in August 2008 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, money laundering and Social Security fraud. He admitted supplying cocaine to co-conspirators in Florida and Maine from June to November 2005.
He is one of 18 defendants indicted by a federal grand jury for being part of the conspiracy. All the defendants have either pleaded guilty or are scheduled to plead guilty in connection with the drug ring.
Provost was one of two men identified in the indictment as being a leader in the conspiracy. The other man charged with being a mastermind behind the scheme to distribute more than 10 pounds of cocaine and oxycodone pills in northern Maine pleaded guilty in June to drug charges, according to court documents.
Michael Mayer, 55, of Jupiter, Fla., and Costa Rica is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 28 in Portland.
Mayer lived a lavish lifestyle fueled by cash, according to prosecutors. Between January 2002 and June 2005, Mayer supplied large quantities of cocaine and diverted oxycodone, a powerful painkiller, to midlevel and street-level dealers in Maine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
After an alleged dispute over money between Mayer and his buyers in Maine, according to prosecutors, members of the drug ring obtained cocaine from June 2005 through November 2005 from Provost, who then was living in Mansfield, Mass.
The relationship between the Maine buyers and Provost ended after less than six months in a disagreement over money and the quality of the drugs, according to court documents.
The group then turned to two people from the Dominican Republic, who operated out of Lawrence, Mass., court papers indicate. While prosecutors have not named them, they were arrested in New Hampshire on unrelated drug charges in January 2006 and are serving federal prison terms, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey, the lead prosecutor in the case. Where the ring obtained drugs after that has not been made public.
Provost faced a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 40 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended that the five-year minimum not be applied to Provost’s case under the “safety valve” provision of the federal sentencing guidelines.
The “safety valve” can be applied when the defendant does not have an extensive criminal record, did not use violence to commit the crime or crimes and has cooperated thoroughly with investigators, Casey said Wednesday.
Casey said that his office recommended Provost serve a little less than three years in prison. Defense attorney Mary Davis of Portland urged Hornby to sentence her client to 1½ years.
Provost has been held without bail since his arrest in May 2008. That time will be applied to his sentence.
Three other men have been sentenced for being part of the drug conspiracy.
Peter Glidden, 31, of Smithfield was sentenced Tuesday in Portland to seven years in prison and five years of supervised release, according to court documents. He was ordered to forfeit $240,000, the amount he is estimated to have made by being part of the conspiracy from January 2002 to May 2006.
Preston Chubbuck, 43, of Springfield was sentenced on Sept. 9 in Portland to two years and one month in prison and three years of supervised release, according to court papers. He was ordered to forfeit $25,000, the amount he is estimated to have made by being part of the conspiracy for six months beginning on Nov. 1, 2005.
Robert Donath, 28, of Lincoln was sentenced on Sept. 8 in Portland to 7½ years in prison and five years of supervised release. He was ordered to forfeit $284,000, the amount he is estimated to have made by being part of the conspiracy from January 2002 to May 2006.
Lisa Delaurentiis, 43, of Jupiter, Fla., also known as Lisa Fitzpatrick and as Lisa Nylund, is scheduled to plead guilty to drug charges on Oct. 27.
The other defendants who are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to drug charges are:
Troy Littlefield, 42, of Oakfield; Brent “Cowboy” Noyes, 57, of Lincoln; Nancy Squegilia, 51, of East Millinocket; Richard “Rat” Russell, 48, of Lincoln; Jeffrey Whitehead, 54, of Enfield; Kenneth Kaczmarski, 43, of Jupiter, Fla.; Jeffrey Polk, 36, of Alaska; Daniel “Danny” Littlefield, 49, of Lee; Mark “Goober” Russell, 41, of Lincoln; Donald “Donny” Russell, 50, of Lincoln; Raymond Davis, 48, of Lincoln and Jupiter, Fla.; and Jeffrey “Bow Neck” Edwards, 42, of Bradenton, Fla., and Islamorada, Fla.
The Russells are brothers. The Littlefields are not related, according to prosecutors.
Mark Russell and Whitehead are serving sentences out of state on unrelated charges.