PORTLAND, Maine — A 61-year-old Warren woman who federal investigators said illegally received large packages of prescription painkillers from Florida twice a week for two years has been sentenced to a year and one day in federal prison.
Niraja Beram was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland by Judge Nancy Torresen.
Beram pleaded guilty in May to one count of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. Under the plea agreement reached in May, she would serve no more than two years.
Beram was also fined $2,500 for her conviction. She will also be on supervised release for two years after she gets out of prison.
Beram was arrested in January after federal drug agents intercepted a package for her coming from Florida and found 257 30-milligram oxycodone pills, 30 8-milligram hydromorphone (Dilaudid) pills and 27 4-milligram hydromorphone pills.
Two agents were waiting for Beram when she went to pick up the package Jan. 26 at Global Packing Shipping in Camden.
Beram maintained she had not been selling the pills but placed them in a mailbox on her property for someone to pick up. She told the agents she was paid $400 to $600 each time.
Beram originally was charged with importing oxycodone with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.
Earlier this month, a Florida man who had been sending Beram the drugs was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Torresen.
Steven Jimenez, 30, of Melbourne, Fla., was convicted of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone in the Camden and Rockland areas.
An affidavit filed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration i to get a search warrant on a U.S. Postal Service express mail package being delivered Jan. 25 to Beram stated that an unnamed cooperating informant in Florida reported that between 500 and 1,000 pills were being sent to Beram through the mail twice a week for about two years.
The Postal Service reported in an affidavit that at least 50 Express Mail packages were mailed to Beram from Melbourne, Fla., between June 2010 and October 2011. The affidavit stated that all the names on the return address of the packages turned out to be fictitious, and that Melbourne has been a source of illegal drugs to Maine.