BANGOR, Maine — Timothy Varnum was a football player and honor roll student at Bucksport High School less than a decade ago.
Varnum, 26, will spend the next six or so years in federal prison, and for the rest of his life he’ll be a felon.
When he graduated from Eastern Maine Community College with his journeyman’s electrical license, it would have been hard to predict Varnum would end up in federal court, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said Tuesday when he sentenced Varnum to seven years in prison on drug and gun charges.
“But in 2008, you developed an uncontrollable addiction to oxycodone,” Woodcock said just before imposing the sentence. “Then you sank deep into the drug world. This drug has had a ruinous impact on the people of Maine, of which this defendant is Exhibit A.”
Weeping, Varnum apologized to the court and his family. He said that he first got oxycodone, a powerful painkiller, from a friend who had been prescribed the drug after a bad car accident.
“It was all oxy, all downhill from there,” he told the judge. “I developed a habit I never thought I could possibly have. I’m just hoping and praying that my life is not over.”
Varnum waived indictment and pleaded guilty in November 2010 to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm in connection with narcotics trafficking. The gun charge carried a mandatory sentence of five years consecutive to any sentence on the drug charge. Woodcock sentenced Varnum to two years on the drug charge.
In addition, the judge sentenced Varnum to five years of supervised release after he completes his prison term.
The nearly six months he has been held without bail since pleading guilty to the charges will be applied to his sentence. He may also earn up to 15 percent off his sentence for good behavior while in federal prison.
Varnum faced up to a total of 20 years in prison on the two charges.
By pleading guilty, Varnum admitted that in January 2010 he sold oxycodone to a cooperating witness working with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, according to court documents. He also admitted trading a gun to Charles Miles, 30, of Columbus, Ga., for drugs, and that he obtained the gun from Matthew Carrier, 27, of Orland.
Miles was sentenced on Sept. 29 to a total of 12 years in federal prison — seven for drug conspiracy and an additional five years for possessing the gun he got from Varnum.
Carrier pleaded guilty on April 1 to being an addicted person in possession of a firearm. He admitted that he traded the gun to Varnum for oxycodone. Carrier’s sentencing date has not been set. He remains free on personal recognizance bail.