AUGUSTA — A Vassalboro man pleaded guilty Thursday to four charges of aggravated drug trafficking as well as possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and violating conditions of release.
Joseph L. Gagnon, 60, also known as “Joe Daddy,” entered the pleas and is scheduled to be sentenced June 2. He remains free on $12,500 cash bail.
Attorneys at the Capital Judicial Center told Judge Evert Fowle they had a joint sentencing recommendation calling for Gagnon to spend an initial four years behind bars, with the remainder of the 15-year sentence suspended while he spends four years on probation.
Three of the drug trafficking charges were dated Jan. 29, 2016, when Maine Drug enforcement Agents conducted a search warrant at Gagnon’s residence at 38 Whitehouse Road.
Police arrested eight people there after finding 27.7 grams of heroin, 60 grams of cocaine and 14 grams of methamphetamine.
The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, said Gagnon had permitted Richard J. Baker, also known as “Stash,” 36, of Bronx, New York, to stay in his home and sell drugs from there. Baker pleaded guilty previously to drug trafficking charges and is serving a six-year prison term.
Sibley also said $1,340 and two firearms were located in Gagnon’s bedroom. Gagnon agreed to forfeit those items as part of his plea agreement.
The other aggravated drug trafficking offense occurred April 29, 2016, when another search warrant was executed at his home.
Sibley said 3.8 grams of heroin were located then. Gagnon pleaded guilty to violating conditions of bail as well in relation to that offense.
Sibley also told Fowle that she had agreed to the minimum jail time because “Gagnon went some 40 years of his life with no (criminal) history. He was injured on the job and overprescribed opiates.” She said his first criminal conviction (for unlawful trafficking) occurred in 2006 and there had been no drug convictions since then.
The delay in sentencing was requested so that Gagnon, who is free on bail, would be able to do some of the jail time at an alternative incarceration program, the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center/Waldo County Jail, in Belfast.
In exchange for the pleas, five other charges of aggravated drug trafficking, dated between Nov. 9, 2015, and Jan. 29, 2016, and all in Vassalboro, were dismissed by the state.
Gagnon, who was represented by attorney Leonard Sharon, said little at the hearing and indicated he had no dispute with the prosecutor’s recitation of the evidence.
In January 2012, Gagnon shot his daughter’s boyfriend in the stomach at Gagnon’s home. Gagnon did not face charges in connection with that incident.
Betty Adams — 621-5631