PORTLAND, Maine — A New York City man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for leading a drug trafficking ring that brought cocaine and heroin into Maine, where it was sold in apartments in Portland, Lewiston and Waterville.
Shareef “Slow” Nash, 34, also was ordered to undergo five years of supervised release upon completing his prison term during a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby in Portland, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II announced Thursday.
Nash pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute — and possessing with intent to distribute — cocaine base, cocaine and heroin on Sept. 2, 2011, according to documents filed with U.S. District Court in Portland.
According to evidence presented during previous hearings and during the trial of a co-conspirator, Hasan Worthy, from about March 2009 through August 2010, Nash led a drug trafficking organization that regularly obtained cocaine from a dealer in New York City.
The organization used female couriers, who carried golf-ball-sized packages of cocaine inside their bodies from New York to Maine, where the cocaine was processed into cocaine base, or “crack cocaine,” and then sold, along with heroin, from apartments in Portland, Lewiston and Waterville.
During the investigation, agents seized 250 grams of cocaine from five female couriers, $11,000 worth of cocaine, digital scales, about $6,000 cash and five handguns, according to Delahanty.
Nash is the latest member of the group to be sentenced, Delahanty said. Hornby previously imposed sentences of up to nine years on 11 other members of the ring. Worthy and one other member await sentencing.
Delahanty credited the convictions to a joint investigation involving the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency; the Portland Police Department; the York County Sheriff’s Office; the Maine State Police; and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, or OCDETF.
The group is a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission it is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply, Delahanty said.
The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorney Daniel J. Perry, who also is OCDETF chief.