May 23, 2019
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Man who said he could not get fair trial from all-white Maine jury found guilty

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
The Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building

A Massachusetts man who claimed he could not get a fair trial in Maine because there were no minorities on the jury was found guilty Thursday on a drug conspiracy charge.

Jurors found that Myron “Templer” Crosby Jr., 55 of Springfield, Massachusetts, had been part of a conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin in Maine even though he’d never came to the state before his arrest.

A kilogram is equal to about 2.2 pounds.

Crosby, an African-American man, told U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock on Monday that he “did not have a chance at a fair trial” with an all-white jury. He also claimed he should be tried in Connecticut or Massachusetts, where the drug sales took place, rather than in Maine where the drug was distributed.

Jurors disagreed.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes in U.S. District Court in Bangor before announcing its verdict Thursday, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey.

“The jury obviously paid very close attention to all the evidence and rendered a just verdict,” Casey said Friday in an email.

Crosby never denied being a supplier to the Maine defendants accused of distributing heroin in the Newport area, Bangor defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein said Friday.

“He’s always been willing to acknowledge that conduct,” he said. “But Mr. Crosby firmly believes he was not part of a conspiracy to sell drugs in Maine. He feels very strongly that he was not judged by a jury of his peers.”

Silverstein said the verdict would be appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Testimony in the trial began Tuesday after jury selection on Monday.

Crosby allegedly supplied heroin between May 2015 and January 2016 to Maine residents who met him in Hartford, Connecticut, or Springfield, Massachusetts, and picked up bundles of the drugs, according to trial testimony.

Those co-conspirators returned to Maine and sold the drug in Newport, Pittsfield, Dexter, Etna and neighboring towns.

Jamie Akerson, 56, of Pittsfield told the jury Tuesday that a low estimate of the amount of heroin brought into Maine from out of state was between 6,000 and 8,000 bundles, each made up of 10 bags. Akerson identified Crosby as Templer.

Co-conspirator Don Grace, 56, of Etna, who is serving 15 years in federal prison for his role in the scheme, estimated the number of bags involved at nearly 20,000 with an estimated street value of $316,000, according to court documents.

Crosby faces between 10 years and life in federal prison and a fine of up to $8 million.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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