PORTLAND — A federal judge sentenced a Lewiston man Monday to eight years in prison for dealing crack cocaine and having a gun.

Keon Baptiste-Harris , 37, of 53 Shawmut St. agreed in March to plead guilty to felony distribution of cocaine base and having a gun while trafficking in drugs.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced Baptiste-Harris to three years on the drug charge and five years on the gun charge, the terms to be served one after the other.

The maximum punishment for the drug charge was 20 years in prison; for the gun charge, life. The minimum sentence for the gun charge was five years.

Baptiste-Harris waived the forfeiture of more than $8,000 in cash and a Hi-Point 9 mm pistol agents found after executing a search warrant at his home.

In prison, Baptiste-Harris must be considered for enrollment in a 500-hour comprehensive drug treatment program.


After serving his sentence, he will be on supervised release for three years.

Five people were arrested by federal investigators in Lewiston in June 2018.

Local, state and federal police had swept through the downtown just before sunrise, making the arrests after an investigation involving half a dozen agencies.

Baptiste-Harris was charged with crack distribution along with four other Lewiston men who, police said, had out-of-state connections.

According to court documents, a “cooperating defendant” arranged on May 1, 2018, to buy crack from Baptiste-Harris at 66 Howe St. That person was searched for drugs, then wired for sound and video and given cash. Agents were able to see and hear the drug transaction in one of the apartments there. Video showed Baptiste-Harris weighing the cocaine before handing it to the buyer.

Later, at a prearranged location, agents met with the buyer who handed them a plastic baggie containing a “white chunky substance.” The buyer was searched for contraband.

Similar undercover buys from the other suspects were made at other downtown addresses.

On June 26, 2018, at 4:22 a.m., agents went to Baptiste-Harris’ apartment at 53 Shawmut St. with a search warrant. They seized “distributable quantities of narcotics,” more than $7,000 cash, ammunition, cellphones and the pistol, according to prosecutors.

Court officials said the investigation involved Lewiston Police and Maine State Police, the FBI’s Southern Maine Gang Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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