Contact: Julia M. Lipez
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Russell Gordon, 31, of Ansonia, Connecticut and Robert Joiner, Jr., 30, of Detroit, Michigan pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, often referred to as crack cocaine. Gordon also pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and Joiner pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine base.
Court records reveal that between December 2013 and January 2015, Gordon and Joiner conspired with each other and with others to sell crack cocaine in Portland, Maine. Gordon would arrange for the acquisition of drugs out of state. Once the drugs were transported to Maine, they were provided to retail distributors who would sell the drugs in the Portland area, and then return the cash proceeds to Gordon. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers conducted controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Joiner and from other members of the conspiracy. Gordon was arrested on January 9, 2015 at 66 Smith Street in Portland. At the time of his arrest, officers found in close proximity to him a bag containing 89 net grams of cocaine base and over $9,000 in cash.
Russell Gordon faces between five and 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine on each count of conviction. Joiner faces up to 40 years in prison and $5,000,000 fine on the conspiracy count and up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on the distribution count. Both will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Southern Maine Gang Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Portland Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Biddeford and Lewiston Police Departments, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Maine State Police also assisted with the investigation.
The case also results from the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.