AUGUSTA — For selling cocaine while on probation for selling cocaine, Roberson Antoine, 41, of Augusta, will serve six years in prison.

Antoine, who also uses the name Antoine Roberson, had pleaded guilty in February to aggravated trafficking in cocaine, which occurred Sept. 9, 2014, in Augusta.

At that hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court, both the defense and the prosecution agreed on a sentence cap of seven years imprisonment. Conviction on a Class A trafficking charge carries a minimum sentence of four years in prison.

On Monday, at the Capital Judicial Center, Justice Michaela Murphy set the term at six and refused to suspend any of it, saying he has done too poorly on his current probation.

He has had it revoked several times, and on Monday Murphy ordered Roberson to serve the remainder of that suspended sentence, about four years, at the same time he is serving the new sentence.

In 2012, Antoine, then living in Gardiner, was convicted of unlawful trafficking in cocaine and was sentenced to serve an initial nine months in jail with the remainder of a four-year term suspended. He was placed on probation for three years and was convicted of violating it two times prior to his arrest on the new charges last September.

Antoine, who was born in Haiti and came to Maine as a blueberry raker, told the judge that he has spent his life drinking and doing drugs, and he is looking forward to rehabilitation and educational programs in prison.

“The situation I am in now is my only sanctuary from my own self,” he said. Antoine said that he had held several jobs in Maine, but would begin to drink as soon as he got off work. That led to drugs.

“I sold drugs to support my own habit because I didn’t want to rob and steal,” Antoine said. He said the last time the judge let him out of jail, he returned to drinking within two days.

He told the judge his goals are to see his 11-year-old daughter graduate from high school and to try to help others by opening a homeless shelter.

“I want to be able to help these people,” Antoine said. “I spent all my life destroying these souls.”

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, argued for the seven-year term, saying Antoine has a 19-year criminal history with convictions in Maine and Florida.

Sibley said authorities found him with 2.8 grams of crack cocaine.

“He absconded from probation and went right back to drug trafficking,” she said. “This is repeat conduct.”

Antoine’s attorney, Lisa Whittier, asked the judge to impose the minimum four-year term, saying the deal involved $300, which went to someone else, and that Antoine got drugs to support his own habit.

“He screwed up; he knows it,” Whittier said. “He never profited from these drug deals. Mr. Antoine is a street runner. This was to support his own habit and nothing else.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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