Two New Hampshire men, a ringleader and a conspirator, who ran a heroin smuggling operation from a supplier in Massachusetts to customers in Maine and New Hampshire, were sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The ringleader, Mitch Merritt, 30, of Rochester, New Hampshire, was sentenced by Judge George Singal to serve 151 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

The judge sentenced the conspirator, Scott Woodman, 29, of Farmington, New Hampshire, to serve 65 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Merritt first met with the supplier, Efrain Urena, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in August 2011, when Urena agreed to supply heroin to Merritt and members of his ring. Merritt’s ring members initially made trips to Massachusetts for heroin on a weekly basis, but they began going more frequently as the conspiracy progressed, according to court documents.

By the summer of 2012, an undercover agent from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration purchased $750 worth of heroin from Merritt and another associate in Lebanon, Maine, and began monitoring Merritt’s phone after that, court records state.

“Once Merritt obtained the heroin, he would in turn distribute some of the heroin to other persons in Maine and New Hampshire. Defendant Woodman was one of the individuals who would travel to Massachusetts on behalf of Merritt to acquire heroin from Urena or Urena’s associates. Defendant Woodman also was one of the persons who distributed the heroin on behalf of Merritt,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Perry said in a prosecution document filed with the court last year.

Merritt and Woodman each pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin on May 7, 2013.

Urena pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced on March 11 to serve 12 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. At least 12 other people were charged or face charges in connection with the heroin smuggling conspiracy, according to court records.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

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Twitter: @scottddolan