AUGUSTA — A woman arrested in November and January on drug trafficking charges in the city was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison during a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center.

Donna Lynnette Hall, 46, of Augusta, also known as Donna Williams, pleaded guilty to the two charges of unlawful trafficking and one count of violating condition of release, and she did not contest the forfeiture of $12,188 in cash and two firearms seized during a raid at the Senator Inn & Spa.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, who prosecuted one of the trafficking charges, said Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigators had learned that Hall had driven a co-defendant, Kashawn McLaughlin, 26, of Queens, New York, to New York in October 2015 so he could get drugs to bring back to Maine. Then on Nov. 2, 2015, agents doing surveillance on a room at the Senator Inn saw Hall coming and going several times to buy illegal drugs. A raid on that room and several other locations in Augusta that day resulted in police seizing “a significant amount of cocaine base and other indicia of trafficking” Sibley told Justice Donald Marden. However, Sibley said the charge against Hall was reduced from aggravated trafficking to unlawful trafficking because the state could not prove Hall knew how much cocaine base was present in the room. She is the third defendant to plead guilty in connection with that investigation, Sibley said.

In the other charges, Assistant District Attorney Tyler LeClair said Detective Michael Bickford, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, recorded an informant purchasing heroin from Hall on Jan. 19, 2016, in a parking lot in Augusta. Hall was free on bail on the previous charge at the time.

Hall’s attorney, Matthew Bowe, told Marden that Hall had been abused in relationships with men when she was in her teens and 20s in Louisiana, and had a depressive disorder as well as substance abuse problems. Bowe said Hall was addressing some mental health problems while being held in the Cumberland County Jail on the Kennebec County charges.

He said Hall had been living and working for a long time in Augusta before the incidents. Bowe said the 30-month sentence, which carries no suspended portion or probation, will permit Hall to return to Louisiana when she completes it.


Hall told the judge she also anticipates getting help while she serves her sentence at the Windham Correctional Facility.

“We have an awful problem in this area, ma’am,” Marden said, adding that her “positive attitude” could help her succeed. Hall was fined $400.

Also on Tuesday in the same courtroom, Stacey A. Grant, 53, of Prospect, pleaded guilty to trafficking in heroin and violating conditions of release and was ordered to serve an initial two years of a four-year prison term, with the remainder suspended, and placed on probation for three years.

Assistant District Attorney Alisa Ross said Grant had been stopped by Maine State Police Trooper Niles Krech on Dec. 14, 2015, in Augusta, and Grant, the vehicle and a passenger were searched because Grant was subject to bail conditions from Cumberland County.

Ross said Grant later admitted that two fingers (10 grams each) of heroin found in the passenger’s coat pocket were actually his and that he had bought them for $75 each for family members.

Grant’s attorney, William Baghdoyan, said the Cumberland County charge has been discussed with prosecutors there and that Grant is expecting to be sentenced to a concurrent year in prison for that drug trafficking offense.


Grant also was fined $400 and ordered to pay $120 restitution.

Baghdoyan told Marden that Grant was a veteran but not accepted into the veterans’ court program. Baghdoyan said Grant had worked as a roofer and became addicted to painkillers after receiving prescription drugs for pain resulting from a series of surgeries after he fell from a roof.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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