Whitefield man gets more than 3 years for role in oxycodone distribution ring

Posted Aug. 30, 2012, at 1:07 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 30, 2012, at 5:21 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Whitefield man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to three years and four months in prison for his role in bringing oxycodone into Maine and distributing it in Cumberland and Kennebec counties.

Peter Poland, 40, also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Poland pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 469 30-milligram pills of oxycodone between April and August 2011. He has been held without bail since his guilty plea.

In sentencing Poland, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock called Poland “a significant player in an interstate conspiracy.” The judge said Poland’s roles included acting as a “mule,” or drug courier, a dealer and a debt collector.

Poland became addicted to oxycodone when he was prescribed it after back surgery, Woodcock said.

“My sense of your crime is that you got yourself in way over your head in this conspiracy,” the judge said in imposing the sentence. “Even though I am sympathetic generally in what led to your addiction, my sympathy has to end when you crossed the line from abuser to dealer.

“You became a particular heinous kind of dealer who feeds on the addictions of your friends and neighbors,” he continued. “You knew the pain and misery you were delivering on them. The sentence must reflect that you crossed that line and caused pain and trouble to your neighbors.”

Poland is one of a dozen defendants charged in connection with a drug distribution ring run by Barry “Lucky” Diaz, 29, of Stamford, Conn., and the first to be sentenced.

He faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, Poland’s recommended sentence was between three years and one month and three years and 10 months.

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