BANGOR, Maine — A Van Buren man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to six years and three months in federal prison for his role in a 2011 drug conspiracy that contributed to Bangor’s bath salts epidemic.

Jacob Gagnon, 26, formerly of Bangor, also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Gagnon pleaded guilty in June 2014 to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute MDPV, a synthetic hallucinogen commonly called “bath salts” or “monkeydust.” He has been held without bail since then. That time will be applied to his sentence.

In sentencing Gagnon, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock described him as “a major figure in a significant bath salts distribution ring.”

The drug is known to cause paranoia, convulsions and psychotic behavior in users.

“Bath salts addicts came as a shock to the Bangor community [in 2011],” Woodcock said. “People using this drug behaved in ways law enforcement and emergency personnel had never seen. The bath salts epidemic sent a chill down the spine of the Bangor area. People began to wonder what kind of community Bangor had become.”

Gagnon, who also sold marijuana, heroin and oxycodone, sold primarily bath salts, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey told Woodcock.

“At a minimum, that amount was 2,200 injection events,” the federal prosecutor said. “In a relatively small community like Bangor, that amount of MDPV can wreak havoc on a community.”

Casey recommended Gagnon serve seven years and three months behind bars. Defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor urged the court to impose a sentence of five years.

Gagnon moved to Van Buren in 2012 to live with relatives, about eight of whom sat behind him at sentencing, and became clean and sober, he told Woodcock. He was attending Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle before he was indicted by the federal grand jury in June 2013 and while on bail the following year.

He apologized Monday for the impact his sale of bath salts had on the community.

“There is no handbook on how to atone with the community,” Gagnon said. “I will think about that while in prison.”

Two others indicted with Gagnon remain to be sentenced.

Alan Ketchen, 43, of Bangor is to be sentenced Monday afternoon for his role in the conspiracy. Ringleader Ryan Ellis, 36, of Greenbush and Dover-Foxcroft is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning.

Ellis faces the most severe penalty because he pleaded guilty to a gun charge in addition to the drug conspiracy charge. The firearms conviction carries a mandatory sentence of between five years and life on top of the drug sentence.

Ketchen’s attempt to withdraw his guilty plea delayed the sentencings of Gagnon and Ellis, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Eleven of the 14 involved in the drug ring have been sentenced, receiving penalties varying from time served to 8½ years.

Two women, Tina Keaton, 34, and Elizabeth Mikotowicz, 30, both of Bangor, have served their sentences and been released.

Michael Tardiff, 56, of Old Town is serving an 11-month sentence in Pennsylvania for violating his supervised release. His son, Matthew Tardiff, 29, of Old Town, is incarcerated in New Jersey.

The following co-defendants are serving sentences in the following states: Jamie Lewis, 41, of Bangor in Connecticut; Steven Orosco, 26, of Orrington in New Jersey; Adam Hathorn, 38, of Bangor in Massachusetts; Jessica Bryden, 23, of Greenbush in West Virginia; Daniel Hines, 40, of Orrington in New Jersey; April Kane, 31, of Gorham in West Virginia; and Gina Nelson, 33, of Bradley in Florida.

Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.