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Contraband
11/01/2010

Van Buren man sentenced on federal drug charges

BANGOR, Maine - U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Allen Gagnon, 48, of Van Buren, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Bangor by Chief Judge John A. Woodcock to 60 months imprisonment, 3 years supervised release, a special assessment of $300, and a $2,000 fine. Gagnon pled guilty on June 25, 2010 to two counts of distribution of marijuana and one count of importation of marijuana after an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Border Patrol, the Van Buren Police Department and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

"Drug traffickers destroy lives and ruin communities," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. Foucart oversees ICE HSI throughout New England. "This case demonstrates that even quiet communities in Maine can be directly impacted by the illicit narcotics trade. ICE HSI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to deter the smuggling of contraband across our border whether by air, land or sea."

According to court records, on the evening of Feb. 24, 2010, Gagnon was arrested after he smuggled marijuana into the United States from Canada and sold it to two buyers in northern Maine. Gagnon, wearing a white camouflage outfit, walked across the frozen St. John River into Canada, picked up trash bags containing marijuana and brought it back across the river. He was met later at his home in Van Buren by one customer who purchased a quantity of the marijuana. Gagnon subsequently delivered an additional quantity of marijuana to another customer in Caribou, Maine. Gagnon's movements were observed by law enforcement and he was arrested the next day. In addition to the quantity of marijuana that he smuggled into the country and distributed immediately prior to his arrest, the court found that the defendant had imported and distributed additional quantities of marijuana between 2008 and his arrest.

U.S. Attorney Delahanty praised the cooperative efforts of the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorney Joel B. Casey.