Rangeley man pleads to federal drug charges

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FARMINGTON — A Rangeley man has pleaded guilty at U.S. District Court in Bangor to selling fentanyl last year in Franklin County, according to court documents.

Steven Butler was 24 when he was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 14, 2017, on three felony counts of distribution of a mixture or substance containing fentanyl.

Butler had previously been scheduled to go to trial, but changed his pleas Jan. 30.

A conviction on the drug charges is punishable by a maximum 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He also faces a minimum of three years of supervised release.

A sentencing date has not been set but is anticipated to be in March or April.

According to the indictment, Butler distributed a mixture or substance containing fentanyl, an opioid-derived drug, three times in March and June 2017, according to US. District Court documents.

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On each occasion, representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office used a confidential informant to buy the drug from the defendant, according to the government’s version of the offense.

Law enforcement agents on each occasion would search the informant and informant’s vehicle with negative results, and outfitted the informant with transmitting and recording devices and provided the informant with government funds to purchase heroin from the defendant. The informant would then drive to locations in Rangeley to meet Butler, according to court document.

On each of the three days in March or June, the informant provided Butler with the government money and the defendant provided the informant with a plastic bag containing a powdery substance that the informant understood to be heroin.

The informant would then leave the defendant and meet law enforcement at an arranged location to turn over the suspected heroin, according to court documents.

Laboratory tests of the substances sold by the defendant confirmed them to contain fentanyl but not heroin.

Butler will remain on the same bail — a $5,000 unsecured bond — set in September: 

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

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