AUGUSTA — A Waterville man who sold crack cocaine, heroin and fentanyl to a confidential informant working with police pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges Thursday.

Philip Bussiere, 55, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with all but three suspended, after reaching a plea agreement. In the deal, the lesser charges were dismissed and each of the three aggravated trafficking charges were lowered from class A to class B crimes. Both those classes of crimes are considered felonies, but a class A crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; a class B crime is punishable by only up to 10 years in prison.

Bussiere, according to an affidavit by Waterville police Officer Ryan Dinsmore, told police he allowed a New York man, Devon K. Sealey, to live in his Silver Street apartment with him. Bussiere also told police he drove the man around to sell drugs around town, and that police contacted him looking for drugs and came to his residence to get them.

“The defendant largely blamed his co-defendants but admitted people contacted him to buy drugs and he gave rides to people selling drugs,” Assistant District Attorney Christopher Coleman said of Bussiere on Thursday at the Capital Judicial Center.

Devon K. Sealey

Sealey, 28, of Bronx, New York, pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated drug trafficking in April and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Also arrested with Sealey and Bussiere in December was Martha Keim, 44, of Waterville, who was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit furnishing or trafficking of drugs. However, that charge was dismissed in January.

Bussiere was charged with aggravated trafficking in cocaine base, heroin and/or fentanyl, on Nov. 12 and Nov. 16, 2018, and trafficking in fentanyl in the period from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, 2018, all in Waterville. The drug sales occurred within 1,000 feet of a school safe zone, contributing to the charges being elevated to “aggravated” trafficking.

Police using a search warrant at Bussiere’s home reported finding drug packaging materials and an AR-15 rifle in the back bedroom.

He also pleaded guilty to charges of violating conditions of release, for which he was sentenced to five days, to run concurrently with the three-year sentence he’ll already be serving. Coleman said Bussiere was, at the time of the drug deals, out on bail on a charge of domestic violence assault from Somerset County.

He will be on two years’ probation after his release, with conditions including he not use or possess illegal drugs, and that he must submit to random search and testing for drugs.

Justice William Stokes said the aggravated drug trafficking charges each came with a mandatory $400 fine, but the judge said he would suspend all but one of those fines, to avoid saddling Bussiere with a large debt when he is released from prison.

“I don’t want you facing $2,000 in fines when you get out,” Stokes said. “You’d be behind the eight ball.”

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