Maine Man Sentenced to 70 Months for Drug Trafficking, Firearm, and Fraud Offenses
CONCORD – DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle and Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced that Richard Stanton, 34, of Hope, Maine was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for drug trafficking, firearms, and fraud offenses. According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 18, 2019, New Hampshire State Troopers stopped a vehicle with a defective taillight. The driver, Stanton, was seen reaching under the front passenger seat as they approached. Due to safety concerns, a trooper asked Stanton to exit and walk to the rear of the vehicle. Stanton initially provided false information about his identity to the officers. Officers later determined his actual identity. He was arrested after officers determined that he had a suspended driver’s license and that he was the subject of outstanding warrants in Maine.
Stanton told the officers there was no one to pick up the vehicle roadside. Per their policy, the officers started to inventory the vehicle in anticipation of it being towed. Various drug paraphernalia was located during the search. Additionally, the officers observed an unlocked gun case in the rear seat containing a rifle and several rounds of ammunition. Officers then stopped the search to apply for a search warrant. The following day, pursuant to the search warrant, the vehicle was searched and officers discovered Stanton’s wallet hidden in a compartment along with over 118 grams of heroin secreted in the dashboard. As a previously-convicted felon, Stanton is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
On July 24, 2019, Stanton, an uninsured individual, checked into a medical center in Bangor, Maine. Stanton signed a consent to treatment form using another individual’s identity who was a lawful recipient of Maine Care benefits. Stanton received care and generated medical bills to be processed in the other individual’s name.
Stanton previously pleaded guilty on January 28, 20201, to possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person, and making a false statement in connection with health care benefits.
“Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities here in New Hampshire,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Let this sentence be a warning to those traffickers who are coming from out of state to distribute this poison that DEA and its local, state and federal partners will do everything in our power to bring you to justice.”
“Drug traffickers threaten our communities by distributing deadly substances,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “When criminals are armed, they present an even greater danger. Thanks to the hard work of law enforcement officers, this armed criminal will no longer to be able to sell drugs or commit fraud offenses.”
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with assistance from the New Hampshire State Police.