A federal judge sentenced a Massachusetts man to 19 years in prison Monday for selling fentanyl to a St. George man who died from an overdose, calling the case a modern American tragedy.

Cameron Soto, 28, of Fairhaven was sentenced Monday in Portland by U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock Jr. on counts of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and distribution of fentanyl.

Soto sold a half gram of fentanyl to 48-year-old Edward Rogers on March 14, 2017. Rogers died that evening. A day later, after learning that Rogers had died, Soto sold two grams of fentanyl to a police informant.

Soto was arrested and has been jailed since then. He pleaded guilty in June 2019, but his sentencing was delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions in the courts.

The plea agreement between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Soto’s defense attorneys called for a prison sentence of 18 to 24 years. He could have faced a life sentence for the drug death. Soto will also serve six years of supervised release.

Two of Rodgers’ sisters spoke in court, one asking for a 24-year sentence. Patricia Ryan called Soto’s actions unforgivable. She said her brother had a kind heart and was generous, and said Soto’s actions were irresponsible and destructive.

Soto’s parents and friends asked for mercy for him. His attorney pointed out that Soto had a very difficult young life, suffered abuse and became addicted to opiates after a serious car crash.

Woodcock said Soto had been dealing drugs since his mid-teens, and was expelled from a Massachusetts middle school for it. Soto later had several convictions, including serving a three-year state prison term for selling crack cocaine in Rockland. He was released on Dec. 30, 2016.

Soto also had a drug conviction in Massachusetts in 2012.

The case was investigated by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockland Police Department, with assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Soto was represented by attorney Paul Aranson of Portland and Kevin Reddington of Brockton, Massachusetts. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Joyce and Jonathan Nathans prosecuted the case.

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