A Mattawamkeag man was sentenced to nearly five years imprisonment for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Penobscot and Aroostook counties.

Bruce McAlpine, 33, was arrested in July 2018 at his Depot Street home after a search warrant turned up 2.5 pounds — or 1,208 grams — of crystal meth, worth around $180,000 at the time, at the residence. Officials also seized six handguns and a sawed-off shotgun during a search of the property.

McAlpine was charged with aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm by a controlled substance user. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor to 58 months in prison on Friday, according to Andrew Cormack, assistant United States attorney. After serving the nearly five-year sentence, McAlpine will be subject to three years of supervised release.

Officials believed that McAlpine’s methamphetamine supply was linked to a pair  of Florida men accused of dealing meth and heroin in Lincoln. Jared Fogg and Rogelio Rios were arrested in July 2018 after Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officials began investigating reports that the two men were dealing drugs from the Briarwood Motor Inn.

Officials recovered multiple grams of methamphetamine and $20,000 in a bag located in the pair’s vehicle. In April 2023, both Fogg and Rios entered guilty pleas on charges of conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Both face up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

McAlpine’s 2018 arrest resulted in one of the largest methamphetamine seizures in the state. At the time, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Cmdr. Darrell Crandall said that it was “not common for single seizures of meth of that magnitude to occur in Maine.”

The biggest methamphetamine seizure reported in Maine since then occurred in May 2019, when Robert “Charlie” Polerio of Presque Isle and Edward Barnes of Easton were arrested in York County after 14 pounds of methamphetamine and a gun were found in the trunk of the car in which they were traveling.

They were each charged in U.S. District Court in Portland with one count each of possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Polerio received an 18-year prison sentence after being found guilty of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and for possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute in May 2022. It was not clear on Friday whether Barnes had entered a plea or faced an indictment.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.