BANGOR, Maine — The trial of the last defendant arrested in connection with a drug distribution ring that operated from September 2010 through October 2011 out of adjoining Ohio Street apartments began Monday in U.S. District Court with a convicted co-defendant refusing to take the stand.
Kelvin Mally, 21, of New York City, is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in connection with drug trafficking. The trial is expected to go to the jury Wednesday.
One of the men convicted on the same drug conspiracy charge Mally is being tried refused to honor his plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office and testify against Mally.
With the jury out of the courtroom, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock found Abraham Lluberes, 23, of New York City, in contempt. Lluberes will be held in Maine during the trial and could face additional charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Feith, based in Concord, New Hampshire, told the judge. Feith is prosecuting the case, but the reasons the Maine U.S. attorney’s office is not handling the case have not been made public.
Lluberes’ attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, told Woodcock his client had been incarcerated with several of his co-defendants who knew he cooperated with the government. Silverstein did not name them but said his client and his client’s family in New York and his native Dominican Republic had been threatened if he took the stand.
Two women convicted in the case are on the prosecution’s witness list. Pari Profitt, 24, of Bangor is serving a three-year sentence in federal prison on the drug conspiracy charge. She lived at one of the Ohio Street apartments and will testify about how the drug distribution ring worked, Feith said in his opening statement to the jury of eight men and six women, including two alternates.
Jennifer Holmes, 29, of Bangor is expected to testify about the guns she purchased for Mally and other conspiracy members in exchange for crack cocaine. She served a year-long sentence for falsifying applications to buy guns. Holmes was released Aug. 1, 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons inmate locator website.
Defense attorney David Bate of Bangor told the jury in his opening statement that both women lied to police. He said their testimony would not be credible.
Bate brushed off Lluberes’ decision not to take the stand.
“One less liar to sink my client,” the attorney said after court adjourned for the day.
Mally was indicted by a federal grand jury on a drug conspiracy charge Nov. 17, 2011, and the gun charge Jan. 15 but was not arrested until Aug. 16, 2013, in New York City. Mally pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Mally was freed on $5,000 unsecured bail in September. He was ordered to live under house arrest with relatives in New York City but violated his bail conditions, according to court documents. Mally has been held without bail in Maine since January, when his bail was revoked.
If convicted on the drug charge, he faces between five and 40 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $5 million. Mally faces an additional five years and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted on the gun charge.