AUGUSTA — A Madison man driving a car that was stopped as part of a drug bust that netted more than a pound of fentanyl pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated drug trafficking Tuesday and was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison.

Police said the fentanyl was purchased out-of-state to be distributed in Somerset County.

Steven A. Recore II, 28, entered an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to not admit to committing a criminal act while also conceding there is evidence that could lead a jury or judge to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Recore said in court his only role was driving the car used to pick up the fentanyl in Lawrence, Massachusetts, with another man, Jonathan Charron, 34, of Oakland and Madison.

Charron was listed as owner of the 2011 Ford Flex SUV the pair were in when they were pulled over March 18, 2021, after exiting Interstate 95 northbound in Sidney.

“If I go to trial you guys are going to stick me with accomplice liability anyway, so why take six years when I can take 18 months,” Recore told Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy when she asked about his decision to take a plea agreement with the state Attorney General’s Office. The deal dismisses a second count of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs and reduces the remaining charge from the more serious Class A to a Class B crime.

Recore said he had nothing to do with the crime, though police said he acknowledged to them he knew there were drugs in the car.


“So, now I’m going to be released as a 28-year-old loser with nothing in my life. I’d very much like to thank you for that,” Recore said via a video feed from Kennebec County jail to the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

Prosecutor Katie Sibley, an assistant attorney general, said the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, based on an ongoing investigation, had a “tracker warrant” on Charron’s vehicle, which she said was observed traveling from the Waterville area to a home in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and was stopped after it returned to Maine. She said Recore was driving and Charron was in the backseat. More than a pound of fentanyl was found in the car. A witness said Recore owed Charron $1,500 and agreed to drive him to Massachusetts to help clear that debt, Sibley said.

Charron, who was arrested on similar charges, has not yet gone to trial. His case is scheduled for docket call May 1. Charron and Recore were indicted in April 2021.

Agents seized the suspected fentanyl powder, two handguns and $8,700 in cash from the car.

Police at the time of the bust said the seized fentanyl totaled 1.4 pounds and was worth about $120,000. That included 33 grams found during a search of Charron’s home after the initial stop.

MDEA agents based in Augusta had been investigating a group believed to be responsible for the distribution of fentanyl in Somerset County, according to a press release. During the investigation, agents found Charron making trips out of state to purchase illegal narcotics to resell in Maine.

Recore was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but 18 months of that suspended and with two years probation. That means if he complies with the conditions of his probation, which include that he not have contact with Charron, not use or possess any illegal drugs, submit to random searches and complete an evaluation for substance abuse to the satisfaction of his probation officer, he would serve only the 18 months. If he violates the terms of his probation he could face an additional three-and-a-half years behind bars, Murphy warned.

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