AUGUSTA — A New York man who pleaded guilty to charges after authorities found cocaine, guns and $36,000 in cash in a camper where he was staying with a woman was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison.

Aaron Dawson, 34, of Manhattan, New York, whom police records indicate went by the alias of “Gator,” pleaded guilty to felony charges of aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs (cocaine) and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and misdemeanor charges of falsifying physical evidence and refusing to submit to arrest or detention. He was sentenced to two years in prison, with no probation, by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Jabar on Thursday.

An accomplice in the case, Lisa Chapman, 44, of Augusta, pleaded guilty in June to charges of unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs and theft. She was sentenced to six years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended, and given two years of probation.

The pair, and another man, were arrested in July 2022 after police executed a search warrant at a camper on Blair Road. Police had been investigating the occupants for a month on suspicion of trafficking in drugs, according to an affidavit by Augusta Police officer Benjamin Murtiff.

Police found evidence the occupants had attempted to pour drugs down the kitchen sink before authorities entered.

Police recovered more than 11 grams of cocaine, digital scales, several guns, and a safe that contained jewelry and more than $36,000 in cash, in bundles of $5,000.


Police also searched a snowmobile trailer on the property that had been reported stolen in January 2021 and contained an assortment of tools.

A plea agreement with Dawson resulted in the dismissal of two other counts of drug trafficking and one count of receiving stolen property.

Forfeited to authorities were three firearms, $36,655 and a 2011 Toyota Highlander.

Dawson has a felony conviction in New York for criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon, which resulted in the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person charge.

A Gardiner man, Shawn Lord, 43, was at the camper at the time of the police search and was initially arrested and charged by police with refusing to submit to arrest, falsifying evidence, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, aggravated trafficking, and theft by receiving stolen property. He was not indicted on those charges.

Dawson and Chapman were.

Chapman reported to prison Sept. 4. Dawson’s attorney, Stephen Sucy, asked for a postponement to allow Dawson’s sentence to begin Sunday, so he could say goodbye to his child.

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