June 19, 2018
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Belfast man pleads guilty to his part in cocaine ring

By Julie Harris, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A Belfast man has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor to his part in a cocaine distribution ring in Waldo County.

Phillip Kelley, 34, was one of four men from Belfast charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.

Brothers Christopher Hurley, 29, and Matthew Hurley, 26, both of Belfast and Los Angeles, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count each. The fourth man, Shawn Perito, 33, pleaded guilty in December 2010, and was sentenced in March to 10 years in prison.

Co-conspirators Jeffrey Emerson, 33, of Swanville was sentenced in July to nine years in prison, and Richard Calligan, 33, of Searsmont was sentenced in May to five years and seven months in prison.

Kelley faces possible imprisonment for at least five and no more than 40 years and a fine of up to $2 million or both. He pleaded not guilty in November, and entered his guilty plea on July 22.

In a defendant’s version of the offense filed in court by Kelley’s court-appointed attorney Stephen C. Smith of Bangor, Kelley disputes the quantity of cocaine involved, and said it was not regular practice for cocaine to be sold out of his trailer.

Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. accepted Kelley’s guilty plea Friday, and Kelley was remanded to the custody of the U.S. marshal until his sentencing, which is pending a presentence report.

The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey.

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