BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian man was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for importing oxycodone — a highly addictive painkiller — into the United States during a hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Besides a 46-month prison sentence, Troy Spittle, 37, of Perth, New Brunswick, was ordered to undergo three years of supervised release and to pay a $100 special assessment, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced.

Spittle pled guilty to the federal drug offense on April 30. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, Spittle was living in Canada with his wife and four children prior to his arrest. Because Spittle was considered a “flight risk,” he was denied bail until the conclusion of his case.

Federal prosecutors say that on Feb. 24, Spittle entered the United States from Canada by vehicle at the Fort Fairfield Port of Entry.

Spittle told a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer that he was headed to an auto parts store but he was referred for a secondary inspection after his breathing became shallow and rapid as a narcotics detection dog was making its way around the vehicle, according to court documents.

As part of the secondary inspection, an officer did a pat-down of Spittle and he felt “many small objects inside the waistline seam of [his] pants,” according to an affidavit filed in federal court. When asked what they were, Spittle at first said he did not know, then admitted they were oxycodone pills.

In all, a CBP officer found 23 80-milligram oxycodone tablets of Canadian manufacture on Spittle’s person.

Spittle told investigators that he had been smuggling pills into Maine once a month for the past 1½-2 years and that he sold the pills to support his own addiction, court documents indicated.

The investigation that led to Spittle’s conviction was conducted jointly by Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.