A Penobscot County man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to charges of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute bath salts and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Harold Peters III, 37, of Bradford was part of an illegal drug ring that distributed bath salts, the common term for the drug Alpha-PVP, in Penobscot County between January 2012 and March 2014, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The defendant helped acquire Alpha-PVP from China, got distribution size quantities of it from other conspirators, distributed it to dealers and users in the Bangor area, collected drug proceeds from customers and delivered it to his suppliers and used cellular telephones to coordinate the criminal activity,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.

Peters also illegally possessed two Winchester rifles in March 2013 that he purchased from another member of the drug ring in exchange for bath salts. He is prohibited from possessing a firearm because he was previously convicted of three felonies – unlawful sexual contact, trafficking in prison contraband and failure to comply with the sex offender registry act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Peters faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of as much as $1 million on the drug charge. On the gun charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000. His sentencing date was not immediately available.

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