PORTLAND — A Lewiston man arrested in a 2018 investigation into cocaine trafficking in downtown Lewiston was sentenced Monday to more than year in federal prison for selling crack cocaine to a confidential informant.

Everton Jones Androscoggin County Jail

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torressen ordered Everton Jones, 23, to spend 16 months behind bars for distribution of cocaine base, a Class C felony.

Torressen said federal sentencing guidelines recommended a range of 21-27 months, but she shaved months off that minimum because she believed he was intelligent and was young enough to be “set on a better path.”

Jones appeared in a tan jail suit from Strafford County Jail in New Hampshire where he’s been held while awaiting sentencing.

Jones was one of six people arrested in downtown Lewiston in June 2018, each charged with distributing crack.

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

On June 1, 2018, a paid confidential informant sent a text to Jones seeking to buy $1,200 worth of crack cocaine, according to an affidavit written by Lewiston police detective Tyler Michaud, who was assigned as a special agent to the Safe Streets Gang Task Force, led by the FBI.

The informant, who was given government currency and wired for audio and video, met with Jones at an arranged location. The informant bought half an ounce of crack from Jones, then met with agents afterward to turn over the drugs. Michaud wrote that agents believed Jones had gotten the drugs to sell to the informant at a Shawmut Street apartment.

Jones pleaded guilty to the felony charge in August.

Judge Torressen said Monday all the other defendants charged in the investigation have been sentenced.
“I did give some pretty light sentences in this case,” she said, noting none of the defendants would talk to authorities about the crimes.

Jones’ mother died when he was 2 years old, his father in prison. Relatives took care of him until he was a teenager, when he went into the foster care system, his attorney, Randall Bates, told the judge.

His father later assumed custody, but physically abused Jones, Torressen said, reading from a pre-sentencing report. Jones couch-surfed for several years after dropping out of school in 10th grade before moving to Maine at age 18.

Jones spoke at his sentencing, admitting guilt and accepting responsibility for his actions, saying he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Since he’s been back behind bars, he’s been working toward passing the General Educational Development tests, equivalent to a high school diploma, he said, in addition to taking parenting classes.

“I can be a working man,” he said. “I can keep a steady job.”

He said he got into drugs because it was the only life he knew after falling in with the wrong crowd.

“The charges don’t reflect the person I am,” he said.

“I want to give my child more than I had,” he said of his 7-month-old daughter, whom he’s seen only once since his incarceration.

Torressen said: “I want to give you an opportunity to work through the problems you have and … get on a better path.”

She added: “I hope you can see I believe you can turn your life around.”

But Torressen admonished Jones to keep his anger in check. She referred to a pending assault charge against his wife while he was free on pretrial release, before he was sent back to jail.

After his release from prison, Jones will be on supervised release for three years.

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