Co-conspirator of “prolific” Maine drug smuggler to spend year in jail after plea deal

Posted Aug. 02, 2013, at 5:51 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A southern Maine man targeted as a co-conspirator of Paul Corbin, a longtime Aroostook County drug dealer one federal prosecutor called “one of the most prolific drug smugglers in Maine,” has been sentenced to serve a year and a day in prison, according to federal court filings.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock sentenced Christopher Vaughan, 43, who accepted shipments of marijuana weighing more than 100 kilograms from Paul Corbin over an 11-year span starting in 2000. Vaughan of Windham waived indictment in February after his arrest.

Vaughan entered a guilty plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Without the plea deal, he faced a mandatory prison term of five years and a maximum of 40 years, as well as a fine of up to $2 million. He will spend a year under supervision after his release.

Corbin, 56, of St. David pleaded guilty in February 2012 to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. He was sentenced last summer in U.S. District Court to eight years in prison on drug and money laundering charges.

By pleading guilty, Corbin admitted that between 2005 and 2010 he conspired with others to distribute more than 837 pounds of marijuana and to launder more than $165,000 of the proceeds of the drug trafficking conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Corbin employed “runners” to deliver drugs to clients across the state. Vaughan was the recipient of “multi-pound” deliveries from Corbin and two of his runners during the course of the drug conspiracy, according to court documents. Vaughan would pay Corbin and his runners in cash from the proceeds of marijuana sales, according to federal prosecutors.

“[Vaughan] unequivocally accepted responsibility at the first opportunity, when agents appeared unannounced at his house,” Vaughan’s attorney, George Dilworth of Portland, wrote in federal court filings asking for home confinement and probation. “Before that, and before the government knew of his participation, he had ceased active participation in the conspiracy.”

Dilworth also cited his client’s responsibilities as a parent and the fact that he stopped selling marijuana in 2008 as reasons for leniency.

The government countered those arguments, saying other arrangements could be made for Vaughan’s child and that the fact that he stopped selling marijuana did not mean he halted involvement in the drug conspiracy.

BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this report.

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