The owner of this house at 1702 Union St. has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for the distribution of scheduled drugs. Credit: Judy Harrison / BDN

The owner of a house on Bangor’s Union Street where a man was killed in December 2020 was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to a year and a day in federal prison.

Brenda Shaboski, 66, pleaded guilty in July to one count each of maintaining a drug-involved place at 1702 Union St. and the distribution of fentanyl.

She was ordered to begin serving the sentence on March 2.

In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Shaboski to three years of supervised release.

“There is no way to overstate the impact of these poisonous and addictive substances on this country and on Maine in particular,” the judge said.

Shaboski “had encouraged what amounts to a virus in the body politic of this community” with the “staggering amount of illegal drugs” involved at her home, Woodcock said.

Shaboski was arrested last year on April 21 when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency raided her home.

She agreed to be held without bail until her case was resolved. During that time, she has undergone treatment for substance use disorder in Portland, according to court documents.

By pleading guilty, Shaboski admitted that she sold drugs to support her own crack cocaine and heroin habit, estimated to cost her up to $70,000 in 2020, and allowed customers and drugs to stay at her house in exchange for drugs. She allowed dealers to cook powder cocaine into crack cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Shaboski was born in Bangor but left in the mid-1970s, her attorney, Jon Haddow of Bangor, said in his sentencing memorandum. She and her life partner returned to Maine in 2000 to care for Shaboski’s aging mother. Over the next few years, her mother and life partner, with whom she’d bought the Union Street home, both died and Shaboski turned to drugs, the lawyer said.

“Her home soon became known as a place where people could acquire illegal drugs, and she participated in some transactions there,” Haddow said. “She lost control of the activity in the house, and the drug-dealing activity led to acts of violence, including against Ms. Shaboski. As the violence increased, she became increasingly fearful and traumatized, but also felt incapable of changing course.”

The house was the scene of violence that made news twice since June 2019.

On Dec. 10, 2020, Bangor police responded to the home for a report of an unresponsive male, Syies Adams, 28, of Brooklyn, New York. His death was ruled a homicide. Khalid Harris, 28, of the Bronx borough of New York City has been charged with murder in the case. A trial date has not been set.

A year-and-a-half earlier, on June 18, 2019, Albe Lagasse, 53, of Bangor pulled out a gun and shot another man during an argument over a woman. The other man shot Lagasse in return. Neither was killed.

Lagasse pleaded guilty in 2020 to elevated aggravated assault, a Class A crime, and tampering with a witness, a Class C crime. He was sentenced in September 2020 to 18 years in prison with all but seven years suspended, to be followed by four years of probation.

Shaboski has not been charged in connection with either incident.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, she faced between 27 and 33 months in prison, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lizotte recommended a sentence of between 15 and 21 months. Haddow argued that she should be sentenced to 15 months in prison with half of that to be served on probation.

Shaboski agreed to sell her house when she pleaded guilty, with 80 percent of the proceeds being forfeited to the government. The Financial Litigation Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office will receive $23,372 in sale proceeds.