Massachusetts man pleads guilty to providing drug that killed St. George man

By Stephen Betts | Jun 18, 2019
Photo by: Knox County Jail Cameron Soto

Portland — A 26-year-old Massachusetts man pleaded guilty June 13 to dealing fentanyl on two occasions in 2017, including to a St. George man who later died of an overdose.

Cameron Soto of Fairhaven, Mass., entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Portland to two counts of distribution of fentanyl.

The plea agreement reached between the U.S. Attorney's Office and Soto's defense attorneys calls for a prison sentence of between 18 and 24 years. He could have faced a life sentence for the drug death.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled, but will be held after a pre-sentence report is compiled by the U.S. Probation Office.

Soto will also serve six years of supervision upon his release from prison and could be fined up to $2 million under the agreement with federal prosecutors.

Soto has been held in jail since his arrest in March 2017.

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

Soto and Trevor Teves, 18, were stopped and arrested March 15, 2017, in the parking lot of Town Line Market in Warren after Soto sold drugs in St. George to a confidential informant, according to an affidavit filed in court by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Teves was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and released on bail. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in prison.

Soto had been released from the Maine State Prison in Warren Dec. 30, 2016. He had been sentenced in September 2014 in Knox County to three years in prison for dealing crack cocaine in December 2013 in Rockland. Soto was arrested at the Trade Winds Motor Inn at that time, after police responded to a fight. The fight began when a local man confronted Soto for selling drugs to the man's sister.

Soto also had a drug conviction in Massachusetts in 2012.

According to an affidavit filed in Knox County court by the MDEA, the Knox County Sheriff's Office responded a day before the 2017 undercover drug transaction to a residence on Ridge Road in St. George, where 48-year-old Edward Rogers died after injecting heroin and fentanyl.

Police searched the victim's cellphone and saw messages from a person whose contact name was "Pollie." MDEA reported in the affidavit that Soto goes by the name "Paulie." There was a message from "Pollie" on Rogers' phone shortly after the time that emergency medical workers arrived at the residence where Rogers overdosed, asking how he was.

Soto and Teves also had been staying at a nearby residence on Ridge Road, according to police.

A gun possession charge was added against Soto when MDEA searched Soto's cellphone and found photographs of him with guns. The possession of a firearm by a felon charge against Soto was dismissed last week as part of the federal plea agreement.

A loaded 9 millimeter Smith and Wesson handgun was found at Teves' feet when the vehicle was stopped by police. The cellphone photos showed Soto holding that handgun, as well as a rifle that was in the residence that he and Teves were staying at in St. George.

Soto is represented by attorney Paul Aranson of Portland and Kevin Reddington of Brockton, Mass.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Joyce and Jonathan Nathans are prosecuting the case.

Comments (3)
Posted by: Stephen Betts | Jun 19, 2019 09:37

Distributing fentanyl is illegal. That is why the sentence was imposed. And his lengthy record also contributed to the longer prison term.



Posted by: Dayna D Small | Jun 19, 2019 07:37

What's next, prosecute Nabisco for Oreos that cause a diabetic coma?  Ridiculous.  Death from shooting illegal drugs = personal responsibility.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 18, 2019 09:29

"The plea agreement reached between the U.S. Attorney's Office and Soto's defense attorneys calls for a prison sentence of between 18 and 24 years." HOPE OTHERS GET THE MESSAGE!



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