AUGUSTA — A Waterville man will spend 20 months behind bars for unlawful possession of cocaine in Waterville on Nov. 9, 2016.

Ruben D. Rincon, 33, pleaded guilty to that charge Thursday at the Capital Judicial Center, and a charge of aggravated trafficking in fentanyl from that same date was dismissed.

He was also fined $400, but that was suspended after Rincon’s attorney, Andrew Edwards, told Judge Eric Walker that Rincon had no ability to pay that.

Walker said he understood that Rincon probably would be returned to Massachusetts after completing the Maine prison term because he faces other charges there. Rincon is from Lowell, Massachusetts.

Rincon and Amanda Sanipas, now 30, of Waterville, were arrested together Nov. 9, 2016, as a result of a two-year investigation into drug trafficking, according to police.

Investigators said that Sapinas and Rincon would drive to Lowell to receive drugs and bring them back to Waterville.

Sanipas previously pleaded guilty to unlawful trafficking charges May 1 and was sentenced to an initial six months behind bars with the remainder of the eight-year term suspended while she serves two years on probation.

Also Thursday, Rincon agreed to the forfeiture of a PT-92 Taurus 9 mm handgun and $3,640 in cash seized during a search of the couple’s apartment at Home Place Inn at 150 College Ave. in Waterville.

In a separate hearing Thursday, also at the Capital Judicial Center, Corey Vannah, 28, of Augusta, pleaded guilty to aggravated trafficking in heroin and aggravated trafficking in cocaine base, both of which occurred Sept. 28, 2016.

The case was continued until Dec. 4 for a sentencing hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Katie Sibley outlined the plea agreement and a jointly recommended sentence of an initial four years in prison, with the remainder of the eight-year term suspended, and three years of probation. Sibley also said that six other aggravated trafficking charges involving actions in the period from Sept. 20 to Dec. 1, 2016, were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Sibley said a “cooperating individual” wearing a wire bought heroin and cocaine base from Vannah on Washington Street Place in Augusta.

The four-year prison term is the minimum mandatory term because Vannah has a prior unlawful trafficking conviction.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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