ELLSWORTH, Maine — A New York man has pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs and was sentenced to serve six years behind bars.
Jonathan Baez, 29, was expected to report to Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth to begin serving his sentence at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Baez and Jerald Hiland, 34, of Old Town were arrested in February by Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigators after police received a tip that the two were supplying drugs that were illegally being distributed in the Bangor area. In response to the tip, police executed a search warrant on Feb. 7 at a home the two men shared on Granite Road.
Inside the home, police found and seized 148 30-milligram pills of oxycodone, 144 bags of heroin, two handguns and more than $13,000 in cash. Baez was arrested on charges of aggravated trafficking in drugs, illegal possession of a firearm and criminal forfeiture. Hiland, who was on probation from a prior unlawful drug trafficking conviction in Penobscot County in 2012, was arrested on charges of aggravated trafficking in drugs and criminal forfeiture.
Baez, who has a prior felony drug conviction in New York from 2005, pleaded guilty last week to the charges in Hancock County Superior Court. He received an overall sentence of six years in prison on the drug trafficking conviction with a concurrent sentence of three years for the illegal possession of firearms conviction. By admitting to the criminal forfeiture charge, he also gave up his claims to $10,180 seized by police and the two handguns, a Ruger 9mm and a Lorcin .25-caliber pistol.
Baez also was ordered to pay a $400 and $120 in restitution to MDEA as part of the drug conviction.
Hiland already is serving time behind bars for his role in the case, having pleaded no contest to the charges on April 7. He was sentenced to serve four-and-a-half years in prison on the aggravated trafficking charge, and he forfeited the $3,002 that was his share of the funds seized by police. Hiland also was ordered to pay a $400 fine.
In a separate case stemming from last November, Baez also admitted last week to a to civil charge of keeping a dangerous dog.
According to Bill Entwisle, assistant Hancock County district attorney, two dogs owned by Baez attacked another dog as it was being walked past the Dedham house last fall by its owners. The $1,248 restitution order is to repay the other dog owners for medical bills. There is no jail time associated with the dangerous dog conviction.