September 25, 2013

Man faces new charge after accepting plea deal in Rangeley drug case

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — A Philadelphia man is facing a new charge in his home state after pleading guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Court to conspiring to sell illegal drugs.

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Michael Chandler, 33, of Philadelphia, Pa.

Contributed photo

Michael Chandler, 34, accepted a plea deal in exchange for a sentence of time already served and dismissal of three class A drug charges against him, according to court documents.

Chandler was one of three people accused in January of running a heroin and crack cocaine distribution ring in Rangeley.

The three were arrested by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency after police raided a Rangeley residence and hotel and found $8,200 in cash, 157 bags of heroin, 20 grams of crack cocaine, oxycodone pills and amphetamine capsules.

Chandler faces another charge in Pennsylvania after police there learned of his sentencing in Maine and issued a warrant for violating a condition of release for a previous drug charge, according to Chief Deputy Steve Lowell, of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

Chandler was first charged as a fugitive from justice because Maine law enforcement officers can’t charge someone with an out-of-state crime.

Lowell said Chandler is expected to waive extradition and will be charged with violating a condition of release.

The district attorney’s office dropped three charges of class A aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs in exchange for Chandler’s agreement to plead guilty to class B conspiracy to commit unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, according to the court documents.

Chandler was sentenced to 239 days in jail, which he already had served while awaiting trial. He also was ordered to pay a $400 fine and to forfeit money seized by police in the drug raid.

The cases against the two others charged in connection with the alleged Rangeley drug ring still are pending.

Jami Driscoll, 23, of Auburn, received a deferred disposition and, if she completes it successfully with no criminal behavior, will plead guilty to a lesser charge or have her case dismissed in September 2014.

Tyler McFarland, 32, of Gray, is scheduled to appear Nov. 14 in Franklin County Court.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
kschroeder@mainetoday.com

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