Lewiston crack dealer gets nearly a decade in prison

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AUBURN — A Lewiston man was sentenced Monday to serve nearly 10 years in prison on drug and gun charges stemming from two separate incidents and arrests.

David Tyree Brown, 29, of 116 Horton St. pleaded guilty Monday to reckless conduct with a firearm, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He was sentenced to one year in prison on that charge.

He had been convicted at a September trial on four charges of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, each a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. On those charges, he was sentenced to 10 years, with two years of that sentence suspended. On a felony possession charge, he got a four-year sentence to be served at the same time as the trafficking charges.

On four bail violation charges, he had been found guilty and sentenced Monday to six months in jail, to be served after the gun charge. 

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Brown had been dealing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of Longley Elementary School, a factor that boosted the trafficking charge to a higher class of crime.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Thomas E. Delahanty II said he didn’t consider the proximity of the drug transaction to the school to be a “significant aggravating factor” for the purposes of sentencing because the transactions were carried out in a home, not during school hours and not involving students or school personnel.

According to prosecutors, the drug sales occurred late morning on school days.

“The only consideration here is geography and distance,” Delahanty said, explaining the sentence he was about to impose on Brown.

But Delahanty didn’t downplay the seriousness of the drug offenses.

“These are no simple sales. These are repeated offenses,” he said, labeling Brown as a drug retailer, not simply a “runner.”

Anyone who showed up at Brown’s door with money would be considered a customer in his eyes, Delahanty said.

According to an affidavit by a federal Drug Enforcement Agency task force agent, a confidential source was wired with audio recording equipment, given money by drug agents and instructed to buy crack cocaine from Brown at his Walnut Street apartment on Feb. 10. That source returned from his building with two grams of a “chunky white powder” that later tested positive for the presence of crack cocaine.

The Walnut Street apartment building was 865 feet from the Longley Elementary School zone, according to calculations on an internet website, the MDEA agent wrote in his affidavit.

Brown had been free on bail at the time. Two other crack cocaine buys had been made from Brown at his Walnut Street apartment two months earlier under similar circumstances.

A week later, after Brown’s “co-conspirator” pointed a gun at police, what appeared to be Brown’s Walnut Street bedroom was searched. Drug agents, along with police and FBI agents found roughly 30 grams of a chunky white powder that tested positive for crack cocaine stashed in an oatmeal box below digital scales next to Brown’s bed.

Authorities also found a locked gun case for a Glock handgun with ammunition under the bed.

Assistant Attorney General Johanna Gauvreau told Delahanty that, had the reckless conduct charge gone to trial, she would have presented a witness who lived on Bartlett Street who would have testified that early in the morning on Sept. 2, 2016, he heard a gunshot, glass breaking and a woman’s scream. The witness called 911.

When police arrived, they saw Brown walking out of a bedroom angry and upset. Police found a spent shell casing on the living room floor and saw the living room window had been broken. Brown’s then-girlfriend told police she had heard what she thought might have been an intruder at the living room window. Brown went to get a gun. She heard a gun shot from the living room, where Brown had been. She never saw Brown with the gun. Another woman at that apartment told police she saw Brown with a gun.

On the gun charge, Delahanty sentenced Brown to one year in prison. That sentence will be followed by a six-month sentence on four charges of violation of condition of release. When Brown has served that six-month sentence, he will serve eight years of a 10-year sentence on four charges of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, followed by four years of probation. Prosecutors argued he serve 12 years; the defense, six.

During probation, he must not have any dangerous weapons, alcohol nor illegal drugs. He must enroll in school or hold a job. For every week he’s not working, he must perform 10 hours of community service, Delahanty said.

Brown must undergo complete alcohol and drug counseling as well as batterers’ intervention and anger management.

“You’ve had enough trouble,” Delahanty told Brown. “Now’s the time to stay out of it.”

Brown read from a prepared statement, telling the judge he has 10 children, the oldest 10 years old, the youngest just over a month old. That child, a girl, was born with drugs in her system, Brown read.

“Her mother chose to use drugs while pregnant,” Brown said.

“That’s not only the fault of the mother,” Delahanty said. Brown “certainly has a role in that.”

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

David Tyree Brown, left, was sentenced Monday to nearly 10 years in prison for gun and drug violations. The 29-year-old said he has 10 children ages one month to 10 years.

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