PORTLAND — A Boston man was convicted Tuesday following a two-day jury trial in U.S. District Court, according to U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank. 

Cuwan Merritt, 29, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, commonly known as crack. 

On May 13, 2017, Merritt and Michael Artis traveled from Boston with the intent to sell crack in Lewiston. Their vehicle was intercepted in Auburn, just after midnight, by law enforcement agents, according to Frank. 

The two men were removed from the vehicle and a police dog alerted agents to the presence of narcotics on both men, the release said. 

Agents seized several bags of crack, known as “Dominican Ties,” from Artis, and later seized crack that Merritt had hidden in his body.

According to court documents, a DEA agent testified the amount recovered, a total of 16 grams of crack, was inconsistent with a user-level amount, and is indicative of an intent to distribute. 


Merritt faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He will be sentenced after a presentence investigation report is completed. 

Artis pleaded guilty to the same charges June 28, and is awaiting sentencing, according to Frank. 

Merritt was charged in New York in 2013 and 2014 on separate cases of heroin trafficking, according to the Rutland Herald. 

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in conjunction with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Auburn, Lewiston and Maine State police departments. 

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