February 16, 2019
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Defense calls witness, delaying Milo man’s sentencing in drug case

BANGOR, Maine — Eleven months after his arrest and seven months after he entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, Daren Bowden of Milo was supposed to be sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

But Bowden, 42, will have to wait until Friday to learn what sentence he will receive from U.S. District Judge John Woodcock.

Woodcock decided to reconvene Friday morning to determine if a local lawyer who is a potential witness for the defense can testify about the exact amount of oxycodone involved in the case.

“We have a material witness who can corroborate the quantity of drugs concerned with this case, but there is a 5th Amendment issue concerning his testimony, which we’ll have to iron out,” said defense attorney Ronald Bourget of Augusta.

The hearing was delayed twice as attorneys met with Woodcock before the hearing, and Bourget met with the potential witness during a 25-minute break later.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey is prosecuting Bowden for knowingly and intentionally conspiring to possess and distribute oxycodone pills. Bowden faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine as high as $1 million for the Class C felony.

The case stems from a 14-month investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Bowden allegedly obtained the diverted 80- and 50-milligram pills from two sources, at least one of whom obtained the pills through prescriptions doctors wrote for him.

Bourget argued that one of the circumstances involved in the case — pawning at least one shotgun to obtain cash to buy drugs — should not raise sentencing standards because the gun or guns went to a licensed firearms dealer, not a drug dealer or user.

Woodcock disagreed, saying the higher standard should apply because Bowden’s guns were used as collateral to obtain drugs, regardless of the circumstances.

Twenty-two of Bowden’s friends and family members attended the hearing, which will resume at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

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