PORTLAND, Maine — A “mild-mannered” Madison man was sentenced Wednesday to two years and eight months in federal prison for his role as a middleman in a cocaine conspiracy that brought the drug from Massachusetts to Maine.
Piotr Krajewski, 38, pleaded guilty on June 1 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge George Singal sentenced Krajewski to three years of supervised release after he completes his prison term. In all likelihood, Krajewski, who is not a U.S. citizen, will be deported to his native Poland when he is released, according to court documents.
Krajewski faced a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison. Singal apparently accepted at least some of the arguments made by defense attorney Harold Hainke of Whitefield in his sentencing memorandum. Hainke argued that his client, who has lived in the U.S. since he was 17, should spend just two years behind bars.
The father of two young children — who had back problems because of an injury on a construction job and suffered a crushed hand working in shoe factory — turned to selling drugs out of desperation, Krajewski’s attorney wrote in the sentencing memorandum.
“He withdrew from the original conspiracy and only got back into it when the [U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s confidential informant] approached him to get involved,” Hainke wrote. “If he had only said, ‘No, thanks,’ his life may have been dramatically different. But he trusted the CI. He had worked with him previously as a middleman and acted as middleman again.”
The attorney described Krajewski as “mild-mannered,” “not a street person” and “vulnerable.” Hainke argued that his client’s character traits, coupled with recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions granting federal judges greater discretion in sentencing, allowed Singal to impose a lighter sentence than recommended under the federal sentencing guidelines.
Despite Hainke’s description of his client, Krajewski’s federal bail was revoked Oct. 3 after he violated a protection from abuse order taken out by his estranged wife, according to documents.
Federal prosecutors did not file a sentencing memorandum. The guideline range Singal used in sentencing Krajewski was not available late Wednesday.
Krajewski worked with William DeGraff Jr. 35, of Norridgewock to bring cocaine into Maine from March 2008 to February 2011 that the two obtained from Jorge Delmonte, 40, of Methuen, Mass., according to the prosecution version of events to which the Krajewski pleaded guilty. DeGraff was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Portland to 10 years in prison. Delmonte, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced Sept. 27 to nine years in prison.
An early version of this story requires clarification. Although Krajewski’s attorney described his client as “mild mannered” in a sentencing memorandum, the defendant’s federal bail was revoked Oct. 3 because he violated a protection from abuse order obtained by his estranged wife, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.