BANGOR, Maine — A Swanville man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to nine years in prison for his role in a drug conspiracy a federal judge said left midcoast Maine awash in cocaine.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also sentenced Jeffrey Emerson, 33, to five years of supervised release after his incarceration and ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine.
Emerson sold cocaine, in part, to feed his own addiction, the judge said in imposing the sentence.
“You were willing to visit the horrors of addiction on your friends and neighbors,” Woodcock said. “You were willing to feed their addictions to feed your own. For a New York dealer to come to Maine to sell drugs, it was just business. For you, it was personal. You didn’t sell and drive away. You stayed and became a traitor in your own community.”
Emerson waived indictment in November and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. He was arrested in March 2009 by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for being part of a cocaine distribution ring that stretched from Bronx, N.Y., to midcoast Maine.
“I made a real huge mistake,” Emerson told the judge. “I hurt my community and destroyed people’s lives. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Emerson is one of six men who pleaded guilty to charges related to the conspiracy that brought about 80 pounds of cocaine to Waldo and Knox counties, according to court documents.
The defendant also is facing state drug and probation violation charges in Knox and Waldo counties, respectively, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey, who prosecuted the case, said Tuesday.
Emerson has been held without bail for 13 months in the Knox County Jail on those charges, Emerson’s attorney, Christopher MacLean of Camden, told Woodcock. If the state goes forward on the probation violation charge, any sentence from a conviction would be consecutive to his federal sentence.
A conviction on the drug charge could be served concurrently, according to federal sentencing guidelines, because it stemmed from the same pattern of behavior as the federal charges.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Emerson faced between 11 years and three months and 14 years in prison. Woodcock said he reduced Emerson’s sentence on the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to nine years because Emerson confessed to the crime, pleaded guilty to the charge and told investigators and prosecutors all he knew about the operation.
Emerson was one of six men who were arrested after a yearlong investigation conducted by the Midcoast Task Force of the MDEA, according to a previously published report.
In May, co-conspirator Richard Calligan, 33, of Searsmont was sentenced to five years, seven months in prison and another co-conspirator, Ralphy Dominquez, 24, of Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced to five years behind bars. Both men also were sentenced to three years of supervised release after their incarceration.
Two other Waldo County men have been sentenced in the case. Michael Dunn, 42, of Lincolnville was sentenced in January to three years and one month in prison, and Rodney Littlefield, 37, of Belfast was sentenced last month to two years and six months, both for distribution of cocaine. In addition, both men were sentenced to three years of supervised release after their prison terms.
Carlos Flores Zamora, a Mexican national whose address is not included in court documents, pleaded guilty in March to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Zamora, 33, is scheduled to be sentenced in September.