AUGUSTA —A Waterville man released from prison last October is accused of illegally supplying an opioid substance containing fentanyl to another man who overdosed on the drugs in December and died.

Sean A. Rancourt, 33, was arrested Tuesday night on a charge of aggravated trafficking in fentanyl that caused a death, a charge that carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Rancourt made an initial appearance via video Wednesday morning at the Capital Judicial Center. He did not enter a plea, because the charge is a felony, which needs to go through the grand jury process.

Judge Tom Nale set Rancourt’s bail at $100,000 and said it could be reviewed when an attorney is assigned to represent him.

An affidavit and arrest warrant filed at the court by Waterville Detective Duane Cloutier says Kevin Hubert died at his Waterville home on Dec. 15, 2017.

Hubert, 35, was found unresponsive at 7:45 p.m. that night in the bathroom of his home, and a syringe was in the wastebasket. Resuscitation efforts failed, including the use of Narcan several times.

Tests in the state’s Department of Health and Human Services laboratory showed the hypdermic contained methoxyacetyl, a synthethic opioid considered a threat to public safety by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Diversion Control Division. There is no approved medical use. Tests of other drugs found at the scene showed the same substance as well as heroin and methamphetamine.

“It’s the fentanyl that’s killing people,” District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said at the courthouse. “That’s why we’re losing so many people.”

Maloney said the charge of aggravating trafficking with death resulting is rarely brought because “we have to prove the correlation between the drugs that were sold and the drugs that killed the person.” In this case, she said, the state can do that.

Police also found Hubert’s cellphone, and the affidavit contains a copy of text messages between Hubert and a person identified only as “big spoon.” Those messages start about 9 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017, with Hubert seeking drugs, and stop almost immediately at 5:23 p.m. Dec. 15 after “big spoon” says he is almost at a store to meet Hubert, and Hubert says, “K.”

Later, when Cloutier interviews Rancourt on Dec. 20, 2017, he calls the cellphone number for “big spoon” and Rancourt’s cellphone rings. At another interview a week later, Cloutier tells Rancourt he is going to be charged. “Rancourt got upset and told me that he was just helping out his friend from being sick,” Cloutier wrote.

Cloutier says he reviewed video surveillance footage from College Quik Stop on West River Road in Waterville and saw Hubert and Rancourt do two exchanges in the store, the first apparently for the drugs and the second for cash.

Cloutier notes that Rancourt recently had been released from prison.

In October 2014, Rancourt was sentenced to 40 months in prison for conviction on a charge of aggravated criminal mischief. Published reports show Rancourt and Hubert were arrested together in July 2014 and charged with stealing copper from a South End home in Waterville.

Hubert was convicted of criminal mischief in connection with that incident.

Rancourt at that time was on probation for a 2003 robbery conviction, and 45 months of that probation were revoked. Rancourt was released from prison on Oct. 23, 2017, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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