A Maine man was sentenced to three years and one day behind bars in a Massachusetts court Feb. 19 on three charges.

Charles Dodge, 30, of Rockland pleaded guilty Feb. 15 to charges of conspiracy, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and trafficking in firearms, according to a Bristol County Superior Court clerk.

Dodge was represented by court-appointed attorney Kathleen Putney-Powers.

The case stems from a months-long investigation between New Bedford Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, according to Jim Pease, a supervisor for MDEA.

In April 2011, MDEA executed a search warrant at the Hampton Inn in Thomaston that led to the arrest of two men, Angel Acevedo and Manny Sylvia, both of New Bedford, Mass.

Sylvia was charged with trafficking cocaine and trafficking hydrocodone. Acevedo was charged with possession and trafficking of oxycodone and trafficking in cocaine. The two reportedly have ties to gangs in the New Bedford area.

During that investigation police learned that guns were being taken from the Midcoast to Massachusetts to be sold for drugs. Shortly after, New Bedford police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents began finding guns on gang members in the New Bedford area that were linked back to burglaries in Knox County, according to previously published reports.

Harley Winchenbach, 20, a transient from Rockland, was also arrested during the investigation after agents reportedly observed him with Sylvia and Acevedo. He was charged with aggravated trafficking of heroin based on a prior investigation of Winchenbach selling heroin within 1,000 feet of Pen Bay Christian School.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext.118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.