AUGUSTA — A New York man on Monday began a two-year prison term for unlawful trafficking in cocaine base in central Maine.

William H. Bazemore Jr., 38, Manhattan, had pleaded guilty Feb. 6, 2018, at the Capital Judicial Center, and the case was continued until Monday when the two-year sentence, which was recommended by both attorneys, was imposed. Bazemore was taken into custody immediately.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, said the two-year straight sentence — rather than one with probation — was similar to others imposed on people who were not Maine residents. She said putting them on probation means Maine is responsible for bringing them back from out of state, should there be probation violations.

The offense occurred Jan. 26, 2017, Sibley said, when Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers recorded a phone call to Bazemore from a person who was cooperating with police and who asked for cocaine base. The person was directed to go to the town of China and then to a particular address.

In exchange for the plea, several other charges against Bazemore were dismissed.

At Monday’s hearing, Bazemore’s defense attorney William Baghdoyan, asked Justice William Stokes to consider suspending the $400 fine because Bazemore was to be imprisoned for two years. Stokes agreed to suspend half of it.

The hearing was originally set for 8:30 a.m., but took place about 11:15 a.m. Baghdoyan said Bazemore was taking a bus from New York and there had been a delay.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Twitter: @betadams