LEWISTON — A former Lewiston man pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to conspiring to distribute and possess 28 grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute it.

Prosecutors said Lamar Young, also known as “Dash,” conspired with at least two women and a man to distribute the drug between November 2012 and March 2013.

Investigators said Young, 29, and others were selling crack out of a first-floor apartment on Birch Street. Witnesses said they saw a lot of people entering and exiting the apartment throughout the day. They also said they saw what appeared to be frequent drug deals in the hallway just outside the apartment where cash was exchanged for small plastic baggies that contained a white substance, according to federal court files.

In early 2013, a confidential informant working with the Lewiston Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made three controlled purchases of crack from those charged with conspiracy out of the Birch Street apartment.

In March 2013, Lewiston police officer Ryan Rawstron secured a search warrant for the Birch Street apartment where law enforcement officers witnessed one of the indicted co-conspirators run toward the bathroom with a plastic bag in his hand. Rawstron tackled the man as he sought to flush the bag down the toilet. The bag and its contents were recovered; its packaged crack weighed 19 grams.

Witnesses who would have testified at trial said crack and cocaine powder came to Maine from Massachusetts, and was paid for and brought to Maine by Young and his co-conspirators who cooked the powder into crack, according to court papers.

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Young faces between five and 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $5 million and at least four years of supervised release.

His sentencing will follow the completion of a presentencing investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

He is being held in federal custody pending sentencing.

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