ELLSWORTH, Maine —- A man from St. Johnsbury, Vt., was ordered Thursday to spend three years in prison for buying heroin in New Hampshire and selling it in the local area.

Merton Dube, 32, was arrested last November after police conducted a drug sting operation in Ellsworth. Dube was at a apartment on North Street when police executed a search warrant there and found 70 bags of heroin inside. Also arrested at the time on charges of trafficking in illegal drugs were Mark McFarland, 26, of Bar Harbor and Nina Wallace, 26, of Ellsworth.

On Thursday, Dube pleaded guilty to a charge of illegal importation of scheduled drugs. According to Assistant Attorney General Patrick Larson, Dube told police at the time if his arrest that he had been buying heroin in Manchester, N.H. and then selling it in the Ellsworth area.

Dube has prior convictions in New Hampshire, Larson said, including a 2000 felony drug possession conviction and a 2006 burglary conviction.

Dube’s defense attorney, Ronald McMullen, told Justice Robert Murrary that his criminal behavior has been motivated by substance abuse issued.

Dube declined to address the court during the brief appearance.

According to Larson, McFarland has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and is enrolled in drug court. Wallace has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking, he said.

Also in Hancock County Superior Court in Thursday, a Southwest Harbor man admitted to violating his bail last month by consuming alcohol.

Ryan Cilley, 36, was arrested last August after he held a woman against her will at her apartment and assaulted her. Cilley had been staying with the woman, but became belligerent after getting drunk, police said at the time.

Cilley threatened to damage the woman’s home if she tried to leave, which she eventually did after he passed out, local police have said. She immediately went to police to report the incident.

Cilley was charged with kidnapping and assault and, last October, pleaded guilty to assault as part of a deferred disposition agreement with prosecutors, according to Assistant Hancock County District Attorney William Entwisle. The kidnapping agreement was dismissed as part of the agreement, Entwisle said Thursday.

Cilley faced the chance of having the assault charge dismissed if he didn’t get into more trouble, Entwisle said, but with Thursday’s admission it will stay part of his criminal record.

Cilley was sentenced to 52 days in jail, which he served last summer after his initial arrest. Cilley’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, told Murray Cilley’s family opted not to bail him out right away so that Cilley would have the chance while in jail to address his problems with alcohol.

“I’m embarrassed by this whole situation,” Cilley told the judge.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....