Bethel woman receives fully suspended sentence for role in drug conspiracy

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PARIS — A Bethel woman received a fully suspended sentence Tuesday morning at Oxford County Superior Court for felony conspiracy to commit unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs.

Morgan McKinney, 22, was one of 15 people to be arrested in 2015 as part of what officials called the largest drug investigation in Oxford County history.

While McKinney was initially charged with felony aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs and criminal conspiracy, the state dismissed those charges and instead charged her with conspiracy to commit trafficking.

Active-Retired Justice Robert Clifford sentenced McKinney to six months in jail with all time suspended, and two years probation, where she will be subject to random search and testing.

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In a sentencing memorandum, Maurice Porter, McKinney’s attorney, recommended that she receive a fully suspended sentence, due to her minor role in the conspiracy, “her character before and after her arrest,” and the fact that other defendants involved with larger roles in the conspiracy received lenient sentences.

“From all appearances, Morgan is fully rehabilitated now, more than 30 months after her arrest, and putting her in custody would only set back her efforts at healing her community, herself and her family,” Porter said.

According to a statement by Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney in 2015, information provided by a Maine State Police trooper from a motor vehicle stop prompted a two-year investigation that helped identify and infiltrate a heroin distribution network. The network was selling points of heroin for $30, half-grams for between $80 and $100, and one-gram quantities for $180.

Between January 2013 and April 2015, the investigation uncovered 15 people police believe were responsible for the importation and distribution of 17.8 pounds of heroin throughout Oxford County.

That is the equivalent of 80,000 doses with a street value of $3.2 million, according to a statement from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net

Morgan McKinney

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