PORTLAND — A federal judge Tuesday sentenced an Auburn man to 10 years in prison for dealing crack cocaine, telling him to “stop hurting people and start helping people.”

Robert Scott Jr. Androscoggin County Jail

U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock told Robert Scott Jr., 54, “you’ve got to rethink the way you’re living.”

Woodcock, who noted Scott’s lengthy criminal record, told him that spending so much of his life behind bars was a “waste” and that the people he’s selling drugs to are addicts whose lives and communities have been “turned upside down” due to the scourge of illegal drugs.

“You should really think about what you’re doing to other people,” Woodcock said.

Scott’s attorney, Heather Gonzales, said her client’s childhood “was rife with poverty, insecurity, exploitation, chaos and violence.”

Growing up in segregated housing in Brooklyn, New York, Scott was 7 years old when his father left home after physically abusing him and his mother.


He remembered receiving a holiday gift at home only once during his childhood.

Scott’s mother lost her job because she hadn’t finished high school, Gonzales said.

His mother turned to prostitution to try to make ends meet, but some of her clients were physically abusive toward Scott. Rather than protecting him from them, Scott’s mother often said to him, “I hate you because you look like your father,” Gonzales wrote in her sentencing memo.

Scott lived with his mother, but worked for his grandmother who lived nearby.

“She was a loan shark and made Robert walk the neighborhood, collecting money for her before she would feed him dinner or let him watch television,” Gonzales wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“It was scary for Robert,” she wrote. “He was afraid of being hurt by the people who owed the money or by his grandmother if he came home empty-handed.”


He was later recruited by drug dealers in the area to sell crack for them, Gonzales wrote in court documents.

Scott suffered from an undiagnosed learning disorder and had “very low intellectual functioning,” Gonzales said in court Tuesday. His education ended in the sixth grade.

“Robert never learned to read or write,” she wrote. “Despite many attempts at lawful employment, Robert has never held a job in which he earned a living wage.”

That’s why he always would gravitate toward selling drugs, she said.

Scott spoke Tuesday at his sentencing hearing, telling the judge he was sorry for selling drugs.

“I promise you I’ll do better,” he said.


When pressed by the judge about his crimes, Scott said he sold drugs “to survive” and provide for his family.

Scott faced up to 20 years in prison for the felony crime of distribution of cocaine base; he pleaded guilty to the charge in January.

Gonzales argued for a nine-year sentence for her client.

Woodcock noted Scott had used three locations in Auburn and Lewiston to carry out his drug-dealing activities and that some of the amounts of the drug he possessed amounted to more than that of a “street-level” dealer, a term Gonzales had used to characterize her client.

According to court documents, a confidential source bought about 31 grams of crack cocaine from Scott on Sept. 2, 2021.

After serving his prison sentence, Scott will be on supervised release for six years during which he may not have any alcohol, illegal drugs or dangerous weapons, including firearms.

He also must participate in substance abuse therapy and can be tested for alcohol and illegal drugs.

Scott may not go to bars or associate with anyone drinking alcohol.

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