January 18, 2019
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Convicted Maine kidnapper sent back to prison for trying to deal cocaine

Knox County Jail | BDN
Knox County Jail | BDN
William Rankin following an arrest in 2013.

A Camden man with a lengthy criminal history that includes kidnapping, assault, drug charges, and repeated bail violations was sentenced Tuesday to spend the next six years in prison for trying to sell cocaine while on probation.

William Rankin, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal conspiracy and another count of criminal forfeiture of property on Tuesday in Belfast District Court. The charges stemmed from a November 2017 Maine Drug Enforcement Agency bust.

In the summer of 2017, drug investigators received tips that Rankin was selling cocaine in Knox County. They later worked with an informant to set up a fake drug deal during which Rankin allegedly expected to buy 20 ounces of cocaine for $24,000, according to court records. Instead MDEA agents arrested Rankin when he showed up for the meeting.

After his guilty plea, a judge sentenced Rankin to 10 years in prison with all but six suspended.

By committing these crimes, Rankin violated the conditions of his probation stemming from a 2004 Lincolnville case in which he held a woman against her will and assaulted her. At the time, he was out on bail following his arrest for assault against the same woman. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, aggravated assault and terrorizing in 2005, just before he was scheduled to go to trial. As part of that plea deal, a gross sexual assault charge was dismissed.

While Rankin was out on bail awaiting trial, he was arrested for cocaine possession and his bail was revoked. He was later sentenced to 17 years in prison with all but eight years suspended.

After Rankin’s sentence was up, police arrested him again in February 2013 after he crashed his car into a snowbank and officers found oxycodone. He was charged with aggravated trafficking of oxycodone, operating under the influence and refusing to submit to arrest. A judge sentenced Rankin was to four years in prison, part of his suspended sentence remaining from the kidnapping and assault conviction.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

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