AUBURN — A judge sentenced a Monmouth man Tuesday to two years in prison for stealing cocaine and cash from residents of an Auburn apartment last year.

Brian J. Krafton, 27, of 175 Old Lewiston Road in North Monmouth pleaded guilty in October to robbery, a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy sentenced Krafton to 10 years in prison, but suspended eight years.

When Krafton is released from prison, he will be on probation for four years.

Prosecutors were seeking the maximum five years in prison, which was the cap agreed to when Krafton pleaded guilty. Charges of burglary and aggravated assault, both felonies, were dropped.

Defense lawyer Donald Hornblower, who argued Krafton should only serve 18 months, said his client as a child suffered continual trauma and as an adult suffers from severe mental illness and drug addiction.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis argued Krafton was a willing accomplice who knew exactly what he was doing when he brought a bat to an Auburn home invasion April 7, 2018, and used it on one of the victims. A co-defendant had brought a gun.

Matulis said Krafton and his accomplices, wearing masks, stole $700 and a “significant amount” of cocaine from the apartment occupants.

They had targeted the residents because they assumed police would not be called if drugs were involved.

“We do want the court to send a very strong deterrent effect,” Matulis said, arguing for the maximum of five years to serve.

“We do see a lot of these cases. We see individuals who are robbing the people that are either heavy drug users or drug dealers in the community. There’s a level of dangerousness to it that is incredibly severe.”

Although the robbery did not result in serious injuries, Matulis said things could have ended differently.

“When people make that decision to go into someone else’s home with a firearm and a bat … it’s always a situation that can go incredibly wrong, where people can go as far as losing their lives,” Matulis said.

He argued Krafton’s addiction to opioids puts society at risk because his addiction will drive him to commit crimes to feed his habit.

While Krafton had been free on bail, he violated those conditions due to his addiction, Matulis said.

Hornblower portrayed his client as a young man in need of serious medical help who has a family support system in place to assist him in his quest for sobriety and a better life.

His parents and wife called Krafton a good person who has suffered, like so many today, from drug addiction.

Hornblower said Krafton began as a teenager to self-medicate to treat his anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Growing up in a dysfunctional family, he lived for a time in a car or in foster care.

Eventually, his mother sought drug treatment for him and he thrived. When his insurance ran out, his drug treatment ended. He then drifted back into drug abuse, Hornblower said, calling heroin his “close friend.”

One of Krafton’s co-defendants was found not competent to stand trial, had the charges dismissed and was committed to the care of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Krafton’s other co-defendant, Raiden Joyner, 22, of Buckfield was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but 42 months suspended.

When Krafton is released from prison, he must not possess or use illegal drugs, firearms or other dangerous weapons for which he can be searched at random. He must undergo substance abuse, psychiatric and psychological counseling and treatment, and he may not have contact with the victims nor his co-defendants. He will be under curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“I hope this is the right decision for you,” Justice Kennedy told Krafton. “While you’re on probation, if you mess up, you will go back to jail and you will serve a portion up to and including” the eight years of the suspended sentence.

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