A Rochester, New York man who was one of four people involved in an exchange of gunfire in the Augusta Walmart parking lot in June 2016, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to a federal drug conspiracy charge.

Frankie Dejesus, 29, is the last of 16 defendants charged in a May 2017 indictment to plead guilty. He remains in custody and he will be sentenced later.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl and cocaine base carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

His attorney, Stephen C. Smith, said Tuesday via email, “Frankie is ready to learn from his mistakes, pay his debt to society and move forward as a productive citizen.”

On Oct. 24, his sister, Diana Davis, 30, also known as “Lil C” and “CC,” pleaded guilty in federal court in Bangor to three charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl and crack, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release. Dejesus was scheduled for a change of plea on that same day, but his hearing was continued.

Dejesus was arrested Oct. 29 after being charged with grand larceny in New York. Authorities there say he loaded $1,500 onto a debit card at the convenience store where he worked on Oct. 17, but didn’t pay for it. The transaction was captured on video surveillance footage, and Dejesus didn’t show up for work after that, according to documents filed in the federal court case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey said Tuesday that altogether 21 people were prosecuted in the June 2015-to-March 2017 conspiracy, in which drugs were acquired Rochester and then brought to central Maine for distribution.

Sixteen of the defendants were listed on one indictment, and the others were prosecuted separately, plus one person who pleaded guilty in state court.

“They were all investigated as part of the same conspiracy,” Casey said. Proceeds from sales were sent to Darrell Newton in Rochester, who pleaded guilty in October to being the ringleader of the conspiracy. Newton faces 20 years to life in prison, as well as a $20 million fine.

A news release sent Tuesday from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine says Dejesus “was sent to central Maine to distribute the drugs while residing with several central Maine residents who were paid in heroin and crack for their participation.”

Davis and Dejesus faced state charges after the 2016 incident, in which shots were exchanged between people in two cars in the parking lot at the Walmart at the Marketplace at Augusta, followed by an alleged shooter being attacked when he got out of one vehicle. No one was shot. The fracas was broken up when armed civilian bystanders intervened. Police said the incident was drug-related.

Davis originally faced state charges of aggravated assault and pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of assault. She was found guilty automatically and sentenced to 100 days in jail, which she already had served. The prosecutor said Davis had no prior criminal record.

In March 2016 in state court, Dejesus received a two-year deferred disposition after pleading guilty to a charge of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon. The special conditions of his deferred disposition required that he depart Maine and return only for meeting with his attorney or for court proceedings.

If Dejesus succeeded in remaining trouble-free for the next two years, he was to be sentenced to the time he already served in jail while awaiting trial, which is over eight months.

If he was unsuccessful, the length of his sentence would be determined by a judge up to a maximum of five years in prison.

In exchange for the plea at the Capital Judicial Center, charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault against Dejesus were dismissed by the state.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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