February 3

New York man sentenced in central Maine drug conspiracy

James Proudfoot was one of 21 people arrested last year as part of a drug ring that linked New York and Augusta area.

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Participating in a conspiracy that brought drugs from New York into central Maine for distribution cost a New York man 63 months in federal prison and $6,000 in forfeited bail.

James Proudfoot, 33, of New York, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Proudfoot pleaded guilty July 31, in the same court, to the charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute oxycodone and 500 or more grams of cocaine.

In all, 21 people from New York and central Maine were charged in connection with the distribution ring, which operated Jan. 1-March 17, 2012. Three of those have sentencing hearings pending, and a number have already been sentenced.

According to the prosecution, Proudfoot’s role in the conspiracy was to go to sources in New York and get drugs for Maurice McCray, of Waterville, who later pleaded guilty to selling them in central Maine. Proudfoot was arrested at a Boston bus station with 82 grams of cocaine. The prosecutor says “the defendant was intercepted during the wiretap in connection with four distribution events over the course of less than a month.”

U.S. Probation Officer Mitchell Oswald said in an affidavit that while Proudfoot was on bail on the Maine drug charge, he was arrested in New York Oct. 27, and charged with criminal sale of marijuana and two counts of possession of marijuana.

Oswald also said Proudfoot tested positive for marijuana on six occasions between July 16, 2012, and May 13, 2013.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey successfully sought the forfeiture of Proudfoot’s bail, saying “his use of marijuana while on bail constitutes a criminal offense and, therefore, a violation of his bail conditions.”

U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. ordered the forfeiture in December, but for different reasons.

Woodcock ruled that Proudfoot’s “failure to appear at two scheduled hearings, his subsequent disappearance, and his resisting arrest, separately and in combination, justify the requested bail forfeiture.”

According to court filings by Henry Griffin, Proudfoot’s attorney, “While (Proudfoot) had been clean and sober and in treatment for six months, he relapsed under the pressure of his impending plea and certain period of incarceration.”

Proudfoot had been set to plead guilty on June 5, however, he failed to appear and an arrest warrant was issued. Proudfoot was later arrested on June 25.

Proudfoot was originally arrested on the charge in the Southern District of New York on May 30, 2012, freed on bail, and was permitted to live in New York while the case was pending.

Following the 63 months in prison, Proudfoot will spend six years on supervised release.

Documents show Proudfoot previously was convicted in New York County of criminal sale of a controlled substance and sentenced to three to six years in May 2004.

Betty Adams — 621-5631badams@centralmaine.comTwitter: @betadams
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