A Waterville man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for his role in a central Maine drug conspiracy that lasted from Jan. 1 to March 17, 2012.
Daniel Pinnette, 50, already has spent almost a year in the Somerset County Jail on the federal charge, according to filings by his attorney, Walter McKee, in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Pinnette was one of 21 people charged in connection with the conspiracy in which drugs from New York were sold in central Maine.
At the center of the conspiracy was Maurice McCray, of Waterville, who pleaded guilty in March 2013 to two charges: distributing oxycodone, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone and more THAN 500 grams of a mixture containing cocaine. He has yet to be sentenced.
According to the prosecution version of the offense, filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel B. Casey, Pinnette sold oxycodone that he obtained from McCray or McCray’s girlfriend.
Casey said Pinnette talked with McCray by phone or text to order pills and used some and sold some.
In a memo to the court, McKee said he and Pinnette agreed with a presentencing report that says “Pinnette had minimal dealings with McCray, and by all appearances, was a low level oxycodone purchaser/dealer.”
McKee argued in that memo that Pinnette should be sentenced to the time he has been held — 11 months and eight days — and be released. Pinnette was taken into custody May 1, 2013, the day he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone.
McKee said the 15-month imprisonment Justice John A. Woodcock Jr. imposed on Pinnette was the second-lowest sentence of all the defendants charged in the conspiracy.
McKee’s memo said Pinnette made three drug purchases, all in February 2012, because he had developed “a significant substance abuse problem arising out of his self-medication for chronic pain that he developed over his many, many years in the roofing business.”
McKee said Pinnette has beat that addiction since his arrest and been drug-free, according to a series of tests.
Pinnette’s roofing business, which had 12 employees and contracts in excess of $1 million at its height, evaporated as a result of his incarceration, McKee said, but could be revived and allow Pinnette to earn money again.
Betty Adams — 621-5631 firstname.lastname@example.org