AUGUSTA — A Passaic, New Jersey, man pleaded guilty to aggravated drug trafficking charges Thursday just prior to juror selection for his upcoming three-day trial.

Otis Daniel Tosen, 46, who at one point was free on $100,000 cash bail with the condition that he remain in Maine, remains in custody now and is expected to be sentenced in July.

Tosen was arrested by Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers Dec. 12, 2014, in a hotel room in Augusta. Agents reported seizing an estimated $36,000 worth of drugs: 50 grams of crack cocaine, 150 grams of powder cocaine, and 620 oxycodone pills.

Tosen, who goes by the street names of Otis Bell and “Slim,” and Kimberly Maldonado, now 49, also of Passaic, New Jersey, were under surveillance for suspicion of bringing drugs to the Augusta area.

Tosen had been scheduled to go to trial later this month at the Capital Judicial Center on 13 separate criminal charges. Instead, he opted to plead guilty to three counts of aggravated trafficking, two in cocaine base and one in oxycodone, and agreed to forfeit $5,257 that was seized from him when he was arrested. The state dismissed the remaining charges in exchange for his pleas.

The aggravated trafficking charges each carry maximum prison terms of 30 years.

Tosen has previous convictions in Passaic in February 1999 for manufacturing/distributing a controlled dangerous substance and in March 2010 for possession of controlled, dangerous substances.

He was represented by defense attorney Andrew Wright, the fourth lawyer to represent him in the case. Wright had filed a motion to withdraw from the case — apparently at Tosen’s request — but Justice Michaela Murphy denied it Thursday after a hearing.

Tosen spent months out of jail while the case was pending, and in July 2016 he sought to get his bail lowered to $40,000, saying it was proving a hardship for his family, which had posted it.

Later, he returned to Kennebec County jail when the bail was withdrawn.

In May 2016, Maldonado pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and was sentenced to 20 months in prison and fined $400. She also forfeited her interest in the $5,257 that was seized.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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