AUGUSTA — A Gardiner man whose apartment was used to facilitate drug deals pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful trafficking in heroin and cocaine.

Clifford Sousa, 43, was sentenced to an initial nine months and one day in prison, with the remainder of the four-year term suspended while he spends two years on probation.

At the hearing Tuesday in the Capital Judicial Center, the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, said officers of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency had received information about suspected drug sales at Sousa’s Middle Street residence.

She said an undercover agent bought drugs there from Michael Antonio Nelson, 32, of Brooklyn, New York, and that Sousa was being charged under the theory of accomplice liability. Sousa, Nelson and Jahneiro Conrad Samuel Plummer, 27, also of Brooklyn, New York, were arrested on drug trafficking charges after police raided the apartment on July 31.

“Mr. Sousa allowed Mr. Nelson and Mr. Plummer to sell drugs from his residence,” Sibley told Justice William Stokes.

She said digital scales, residue and prepackaged bags of cocaine base and a heroin-fentanyl mix were found in Sousa’s bedroom. Police reported finding a total of 151.9 grams of heroin-fentanyl and 289.8 grams of crack cocaine, all with packaging, and $13,925 in cash — plus $200 in recorded buy money — in another bedroom used by Nelson and Plummer.


The state dismissed two counts of aggravated drug trafficking against Sousa in exchange for the pleas to the reduced unlawful trafficking charges,

Conditions of probation prohibit Sousa from contact with Nelson and Plummer.

Nelson is scheduled for a motion to suppress hearing 8:30 a.m. Nov. 27 at the Capital Judicial Center, and Plummer’s case is set for docket call on Dec. 5 at the same courthouse.

Sousa’s attorney Lia Whittier asked that Stokes to suspend the two $400 fines that accompany the convictions, saying her client owes almost $1,000 to pay on other fines and has no means to pay at the moment.

The judge agreed.

Whittier said Sousa has been held on the charges for the past three months.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.