BANGOR — A Gardiner man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to being part of a large drug conspiracy that brought drugs from Rochester, New York, to distribute in central Maine.

Jason Folkner, 42, also known as “Crazy,” of Gardiner and Augusta, entered the plea to the conspiracy charge and began serving time for it immediately even though sentence has yet to be imposed.

U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. told Folkner that was because he was found guilty of a mandatory detention crime, he must begin serving a sentence immediately even though it has yet to be imposed.

Folkner has been in custody since his arrest on the indictment June 25, 2017.

According to the prosecution, Folkner was part of the conspiracy that existed from June 14, 2015, and March 9, 2017, with the intent to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, heroin and fentanyl.

In all, 16 people from central Maine and from Rochester, New York, are charged in the conspiracy, and several others have pleaded guilty to conspiracy or related crimes.

Among them are 30-year-old Diana Davis, also known as “Little C” and “CC”; and her brother, Frankie Dejesus, 28, both of Rochester, New York. The two were involved in a gunfire incident June 26, 2016, in the Augusta Walmart parking lot, which Augusta police said was drug-related and which was broken up by armed by-standers.

Folkner’s attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein, said he was satisfied that the evidence could lead to Folkner’s conviction at trial “based upon the disclosures I’ve been exposed to.”

The prosecution’s version of events says Folkner “allowed drug dealers from Rochester stay in his residence and use his residence as a ‘trap house,’ that is, a location where drug customers would come to purchase drugs from members of the conspiracy.” The same document said Folkner himself sold heroin and cocaine base and drove others to pick up and deliver drugs and money, and allowed a Rochester dealer to sell the drugs from Folkner’s Gardiner residence.

At one point Thursday, Folkner told the judge, “I was only involved in it for a couple of weeks.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody Mullis and Silverstein told the judge there was no agreement on a sentencing recommendation.

Woodcock warned Folkner that he would sentence him according to federal guidelines and other material he receives.

Documents filed in the case against a co-defendant, Brent “Herc” Hercules, of Rochester, say, “There were approximately 12-15 such (trap-houses) throughout central Maine during the height of the conspiracy’s activities. The individuals who lived in these residences were paid in cocaine base or heroin for allowing the Rochester individuals to stay in the residences and sell narcotics.”

Proceeds from sales were sent “to the head of the conspiracy in Rochester, Darrell Newton.” Hercules served as driver for Newton, who is also known as Coast, the document says.

Hercules is scheduled for set for a “change of plea” hearing April 11 in Bangor. He previously pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy charge.

Amanda Ware, 31, of Sidney, pleaded guilty to using/maintaining a drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting last month. The conspiracy charge against her was dismissed by the government.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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