Saturday, April 19, 2014
By Betty Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
BANGOR — An Augusta man and an Albion woman received federal prison terms for their roles in a conspiracy in which cocaine and oxycodone from New York were sold in central Maine, and a Waterville woman admitted her involvement.
The hearings took place Tuesday before Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Saul A. Hernandez, 24, who pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and oxycodone, was sentenced to 52 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Hernandez previously was convicted in state court of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs and was on probation for that at the time the federal crime occurred.
He was represented by attorney Jon Haddow.
Haddow said Hernandez apologized to the court at the sentencing hearing.
"He acknowledged he let down his family and expressed real regret that he had gotten involved," Haddow said Tuesday.
Hernandez was arrested last May, and the 11 months he has been held in federal custody will count toward his sentence, Haddow said.
Cassandra Ware, 23, of Albion, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
She pleaded guilty on Nov. 29, 2012, to the same charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and oxycodone.
Her attorney, Jeremy Pratt, said Wednesday, "She apologized to the community, the court, her family and friends who supported her. She was very remorseful for what she's done."
Pratt said Ware suffered a long period of addiction that began when she received a legitimate prescription.
"Personally I'm confident once this episode is behind her, she'll never revert to criminal activity," he said.
According to the federal prosecutor's version of events, both Hernandez and Ware distributed cocaine and oxycodone they had obtained from codefendant Maurice McCray, and some of those drug and money exchanges were recorded via court-approved wiretaps of phones.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey wrote that Ware would deliver the drugs "to her customers and collect payment for same." One of those exchanges last year in Waterville was witnessed by law enforcement agents.
The conspiracy, in which 20 suspects were charged, lasted from Jan. 1 through March 17, 2012, according to court documents.
Ware was arrested last May 22 and was free on bail until she was arrested on a superseding indictment in October.
Another woman charged in the same conspiracy, Tara A. Pelletier, 31, of Waterville, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and oxycodone. She was ordered held pending sentencing. She is represented by attorney Matthew S. Erickson.
According to the prosecution's version of events, Pelletier drove McCray to bus stations in Augusta and Portland to pick up couriers bringing the drugs from New York.
Pelletier also assisted with wire transfers of money and with distributing the drugs.
Betty Adams -- 621-5631