Portland man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possessing crack

Posted July 16, 2014, at 5:21 p.m.
Last modified July 17, 2014, at 4:30 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A local man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 10 years in federal prison for possessing crack cocaine.

Abdullahi Nur, 26, of Portland was convicted of one count of possession with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing cocaine base by a jury on Oct. 15 after a daylong trial in which Nur represented himself, according to information posted on the court’s electronic case filing system.

In addition to prison time, Nur, who is a citizen of Somalia, was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Because of his drug conviction, Nur could be deported after he completes his prison term.

Nur originally was charged with possessing crack cocaine and oxycodone. The oxycodone charge was dismissed by the U.S. attorney’s office after Nur was convicted on the crack count.

After his trial, U.S. District Judge George Singal found Nur in contempt of court for misstatements about the evidence he made to jurors during his closing statement, according to court documents.

Nur regularly bought crack cocaine in Boston and brought it to Portland for distribution, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the U.S. attorney’s office. Two traffic stops over three months in 2011 during which narcotics were seized led to Nur being charged in federal court.

“The Wells Police Department stopped Nur on July 31, 2011, and seized from the trunk 174 oxycodone pills located on top of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun on which Nur’s DNA was found,” the release said. “The weapon was used in a shooting in South Portland less than two weeks prior to the traffic stop.

“The Scarborough Police Department stopped Nur at 2 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2011,” the release said. “Nur got out of the vehicle and fled on foot into a nearby wooded area. Police officers eventually arrested him and seized crack cocaine.”

The gun found in Nur’s trunk was linked to a drive-by shooting in South Portland on July 16, 2011, South Portland police Detective Sgt. Steven Webster said Wednesday. The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Although shell casings found at the scene of the shooting matched Nur’s gun, police could not prove he fired it that day, Webster said.

Nur faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on the drug charge. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, he faced between nine and more than 11 years in prison.

“In imposing the lengthy sentence, Judge Singal noted, among other things, Nur’s lengthy criminal history, his long-time involvement in drug trafficking, his possession of a firearm during his drug trafficking, and his contemptuous conduct during his trial,” the press release said.

 

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