A Pittsfield man Tuesday told a federal jury in Bangor that between May 2015 and January 2016, he and others purchased 6,000 to 8,000 bundles of heroin from a man they knew as Templer to sell Newport and Pittsfield.
Jamie Akerson, 56, said that was a low estimate of the amount of heroin brought into Maine from out of state. A co-conspirator facing 15 years in federal prison for his role in the scheme, Akerson estimated the number of bags involved at nearly 20,000 with an estimated street value of $316,000.
Dressed in orange jail clothes, Akerson identified defendant Myron Crosby Jr., 55, of Springfield, Massachusetts, as the man he knew only as Templer.
He told the jury of eight men and six women, including two alternates, that he and Todd Shorey, 52, of Newport, who worked as long-haul truckers, decided to sell heroin in the area after the local drug dealers were arrested. Akerson said that a man he had purchased crack cocaine from in Massachusetts put him in touch with Crosby as a potential supplier. The Pittsfield man, who worked for a Clinton trucking firm, testified that he met Templer at a truck stop in Hartford, Connecticut, or one in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Akerson testified that he would get in a car with Templer and give him cash. Templer’s driver would then take the two men to a house, according to testimony.
Templer would go in a house while Akerson waited in the car for about 10 minutes, then return with the heroin. The amount of money involved ranged from $400 to $10,000, he testified.
Crosby is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess more than one kilogram of heroin. He pleaded not guilty.
Akerson and Shorey have pleaded guilty to the same charge but have not yet been sentenced.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey told jurors that the evidence would show that Crosby entered into a conspiracy with Akerson, Shorey and others to supply them with heroin that would be sold in Maine.
Crosby’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, said in his opening statement that Crosby was not part of a conspiracy to sell heroin in Maine but, instead, had a buyer/seller relationship with Akerson, Shorey and other co-defendants from Maine. Silverstein also said that the prosecution should be trying Crosby in Connecticut or Massachusetts because that is where the alleged sales took place.
After jury selection Monday, Crosby, an African-American man, told U.S. District Judge John Woodcock that he did not believe he’d get a fair trial from the all-white jury.
The trial is expected to end Friday.
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