Hope man admits to trafficking, possessing heroin

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 06, 2014
John Stanton, left, and Richard Stanton, right, are two Hope men charged with dealing and possessing heroin.

Rockland — A 27-year-old Hope man, accused of dealing heroin with his brother, pleaded guilty to two drug charges June 6 and will be sentenced to approximately two years in prison pending the resolution of a federal case against him.

Richard Stanton was initially charged with six criminal counts of possessing and trafficking heroin. As part of a deal negotiated by his defense attorney, James Mason, and Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, four counts were dismissed, and a fifth count was amended to a class B felony, nixing the aggravated status of the crime.

Stanton pleaded guilty to felony unlawful possession of heroin and a felony count of trafficking heroin.

Stanton's 23-year-old brother, John, pleaded not guilty April 30 to multiple counts of selling heroin. The siblings lived together at a residence on Buzzell Hill Road in Hope, where authorities arrested the men and confiscated drugs and cash March 13.

The home is within 1,000 feet of Hope Elementary School.

Richard Stanton told authorities he did not sell the heroin, but helped his brother to package the drugs for resale.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Knox County Sheriff's Office and the Maine Warden's Service executed a search warrant and confiscated 20 grams of heroin worth more than $12,000 on the street, and $2,500 in cash, said James Pease of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.  During the investigation, agents learned the source of the heroin was from southern New England.

Richard Stanton is on federal probation for counterfeiting U.S. currency.

He will be transferred to New York to face his probation violation charge. His state sentencing hearing for the charges is continued pending the result of the federal case.

The recommended state sentence, ranging from 21 to 24 months, will be concurrent with the federal probation violation sentence. The state sentence is recommended to be three months shorter than the federal sentence to allow Stanton to enter a halfway house.

John Stanton's case is still pending, and he is free on bail. The brothers are not allowed to have contact with each other until both cases are resolved.

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

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