FARMINGTON — A local man pleaded guilty Wednesday to bringing heroin from Massachusetts and selling it in Farmington in 2016.
In a negotiated plea agreement, Mark D. Barrett, 60, of Farmington pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to felony charges of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs and illegal importation of scheduled drugs.
The maximum punishment for the trafficking charge is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Barrett also agreed to criminal forfeiture of his 2006 Honda Accord and a firearm.
A higher class felony of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs was dismissed by the state as was a felony charge of criminal conspiracy in the plea agreement.
Barrett agreed to an Alford plea, which is based on a defendant’s belief that he is not guilty but thinks that if a jury believed the state’s evidence, he would be found guilty.
The negotiated sentence is eight years with all but 36 months suspended on the trafficking charge followed by two years of probation, Assistant Attorney General David Fisher told Justice Bruce Mallonee. The sentence on the importation charge is 36 months to be served at the same time as the trafficking sentence, Fisher said.
Barrett is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9, 2018.
During a joint investigation by the Farmington Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, police intercepted Barrett’s car, which Guy Stevens, 42, of Temple was driving, at around midnight July 14 on Lucy Knowles Road in Farmington.
If the case went to trial, testimony would have been heard that Farmington Detective Darin Gilbert had received information that Barrett and Stevens were traveling out of state to buy heroin and bringing it back to sell in the Farmington area, Fisher said.
Police executed a search warrant and searched Barrett’s car and found a black bag hanging from the gear shift that contained 37 grams of heroin, Fisher said.
Police also found a small amount of heroin under the seat in a key fob under the passenger seat where Barrett was sitting, and a handgun, he said.
Police searched Barrett’s residence and found dozens of plastic bags laid out and a drug ledger with names and amounts listed in it, Fisher said.
Fisher told a court during Stevens’ sentencing in April that the two men made the trip to Massachusetts two or three times a week and brought back about $5,000 worth of heroin per trip.
Stevens pleaded guilty in April to a felony charge of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs. In a plea agreement, the state dismissed a higher class felony charge of aggravated trafficking in heroin and felony charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated trafficking and illegal importation of scheduled drugs.
Stevens is serving 30 months of an eight-year sentence for trafficking in heroin. Upon his release, he will serve two years of probation.
A third co-defendant, Chris Crockett, who was 56 and of Farmington when he was arrested last year, has not had his case resolved.