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Man connected to one of state’s biggest heroin seizures sentenced to 12 years

HOULTON, Maine  — An Aroostook County superior court justice Friday sentenced a man connected to one of the state’s largest heroin seizures to serve 12 years in prison.

During the sentencing hearing in Houlton Superior Court, Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins told Justice Harold Stewart II that James Jamison, 37, of Waterbury, Connecticut, was directly responsible for bringing 12,708 packets, or about two pounds, of heroin into Maine.

Police charged Jamison in July 2016 with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, illegal importation of scheduled drugs, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated criminal mischief. Stewart sentenced him Friday to a combined 22 years with all but 12 years suspended and ordered him to serve 4 years of probation upon his release from prison. The judge also ordered Jamison to pay a $400 fine and restitution to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The series of events leading to Jamison’s arrest began after cooperating individuals began working with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in Aroostook County, according to court documents. That led agents to Robert W. Carney, 55, of Presque Isle, who told them that he was receiving regular shipments of drugs on a monthly basis and had been getting heroin in larger quantities during the summer of 2016.

Carney identified Jamison as his source and agreed to work with the MDEA on setting up a large heroin purchase that July, according to the agency. He agreed to meet Jamison in Portland. Collins said in court Friday that when Jamison saw the undercover MDEA agents coming toward him, he drove his car into their van, disabling the vehicle and injuring three agents. He then led police on a chase through the city, nearly getting into a head on collision with another vehicle before he was found hiding at a local motel, Collins said. Police seized more than 2 pounds of heroin packaged into more than 10,000 individual bags destined for Aroostook County, the MDEA reported.

At the time. MDEA Cmdr. Peter Arno believed it to be the largest heroin seizure in state history.

An Aroostook County grand jury also indicted Carney in September 2016 on three counts of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs and aggravated furnishing of scheduled drugs. His case is still moving through the court system.

Collins asked the judge to sentence Jamison to a total of 37 years with all but 22 years suspended, noting that while Jamison had ties to his strong family, community and work ties, it didn’t match up to the gravity of his actions. The district attorney pointed out both the past and ongoing damage that drugs have created in both Aroostook County and the rest of the state, bringing crime and death, and devastating lives.

Jamison’s attorney, Stephan Seeger of Connecticut, said that his client was not a “drug kingpin” or a supplier, he was simply a “mule” transporting drugs into Maine for others. He told Stewart that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone when he drove his car into the agents or sped through city traffic in order to evade police.

“This is the worst mistake of his life,” he said.

Several relatives and friends also asked for mercy for Jamison, describing him as a good man who made a horrible choice.

Crying throughout the hearing, Jamison told the judge that he was “sorry for his actions.”

“I take responsibility for them,” he said. “I want to apologize to the people that I let down.”

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