AUGUSTA — Jahneiro Plummer told a Kennebec County jury Monday he just came to Maine to smoke weed, chill and make music with his friend in Gardiner for a few days — not to sell heroin or crack cocaine.

Police arrested Plummer and two other men on drug trafficking charges after searching a Middle Street apartment July 31, 2018, and found more than 100 grams of heroin and more than 200 grams of cocaine base — also known as crack cocaine — as well as a digital scale, $14,000 in cash and plastic baggies. Officials said that large an amount of drugs was indicative of one thing — drug dealing — and that Plummer, 27, of Brooklyn, was involved.

He testified on his own behalf at his trial Monday, taking the stand to deny knowing anything about the large amount of drugs police found in the bedroom of his friend, Michael Antonio Nelson, 32, of Brooklyn, New York. Plummer said he was sleeping in the bedroom after arriving late the night before, following a bus trip from Brooklyn to Maine, when police — armed with a search warrant — entered the home and the bedroom. He said he came from New York, where marijuana use is illegal, to Maine, where adult use of marijuana is legal, in part to smoke weed and make music with Nelson.

“I was just looking to chill out and get away from the city for a couple of days,” Plummer said of the nature of his visit to Gardiner.

He said he did not bring any drugs to Gardiner with him, did not know Nelson was allegedly selling drugs, and he wouldn’t have come to Maine if he had known so.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley said when Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents busted into the 25 Middle St. apartment, two men — later determined to be Nelson and Plummer — fled out the back door from a bedroom but were detained by officers stationed there. She said police saw in the bedroom a paper plate containing heroin that appeared to have been dropped or thrown. They also found heroin and cocaine in a duffel bag, which contained Plummer’s wallet and identification. They found more than 100 grams of heroin and more than 200 grams of cocaine in various spots in the room.

“This is a significant amount of drugs indicative of one thing — trafficking,” Sibley said in her opening statement.

Police obtained a search warrant after an undercover agent allegedly bought, in two separate buys on July 17, 2018 and July 30, 2018, cocaine and then heroin/fentanyl from Nelson, 32, who is also known as “G-Town.”

Plummer’s attorney, Kevin Sullivan, noted Plummer wasn’t even in Maine when those buys occurred.

Sibley questioned why Plummer would take an eight- to 10-hour bus ride to Maine to smoke weed and visit with Nelson, also a Brooklyn resident, when the two had previously smoked weed and recorded music together in Brooklyn.

MDEA agent Nathan Walker testified police found drugs both in the black duffel bag in the room where Plummer was sleeping and in a red sock on the floor just outside the duffel bag, a mass of heroin and crack roughly the size of a baseball. He said the duffel bag also contained Plummer’s wallet and ID. He said red and yellow rubber bands in the bag matched those found around some of the $14,000 in cash also found in the room.

Plummer said his wallet and ID were not in that bag, they were in a different, gray bag that also contained his clothes and other items for his trip.

Nelson has not yet gone to trial.

A third man, Clifford Sousa, 43, of Gardiner, who was also arrested at the apartment July 31, 2018, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to unlawful trafficking of heroin and cocaine and 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 Sousa’s hearing, Sibley said Sousa allowed Plummer and Nelson to sell drugs from his residence.

 

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
[email protected]
Twitter: @kedwardskj


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