AUGUSTA — A New York man charged with bringing drugs into Maine and continuing to orchestrate deals even while he was in jail admitted some of those offenses Wednesday and was sentenced in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Mark Anthony Hilliard, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and one count of trafficking in scheduled drugs, occurring between June and October 2013.

Hilliard was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but six years suspended and four years probation. He also forfeited a total of $4,860 in currency seized. Hilliard also was fined $400 and ordered to pay $1,600 restitution.

On June 18, 2013, Waterville police seized 493 30-gram oxycodone pills, more than a quarter pound of crack cocaine, 46 bags of heroin, 3 grams of powdered cocaine, a plastic bag of marijuana and more than $3,000 in cash while searching a woman’s Ticonic Street apartment in connection with the case, according to an affidavit by Officer Duane Cloutier.

The drugs were in a home near a school or safe zone, an area designated as such by a municipality because it is frequented by children.

At the time, Cloutier wrote in the affidavit, Hilliard admitted bringing from New York prepackaged heroin, more than 100 grams of crack cocaine and the oxycodone pills.

Hilliard, who was known by the nickname “Easy,” told police he owed $13,000 to a drug dealer in New York for crack. He also offered a pricing guide, telling police he paid $40-$45 for a gram of crack in New York and charged customers in Maine double that. He charged $30 for the oxycodone pills he bought for $25 in New York, he said.

Police found $1,500 cash on him as well as $160 in counterfeit $20 bills, which Hilliard told police was given to him by a friend as a joke.

Hilliard was indicted by a grand jury in June 2013 on 12 separate offenses. Two other charges were added in a new indictment in January, saying he engaged in trafficking of more than 112 grams of cocaine between June 19, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2013, a period when he was being held on the other charges. All but two of the charges against him were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said that during plea negotiations, she insisted on a sentence that would put Hilliard at the Maine State Prison in Warren, the maximum security facility. “I was not going to agree to anything that sends him to Windham (the Maine Correctional Institute) versus Warren.”

Maloney said she agreed to the deal because of a suppression issue in the case.

“This guaranteed us a conviction, he’ll be in Warren, and when he gets out, if he messes up at all, he could serve an additional 14 years,” she said, adding, “We’ll be keeping very close track of him when he’s released from custody.”

Via email on Thursday, Hilliard’s attorney, Scott Hess said Hilliard pled guilty under the Alford doctrine, “which means that he acknowledged that the State might have enough evidence to convict him, but not that he was in fact guilty of the offense.”

He added, “Mark was facing up to 30 years in prison, so I think that the plea reflected weaknesses in the state’s case. “

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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