Groveton Man Sentenced to 65 Months for Participating in Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy
CONCORD – Robert McLain, 27, of Groveton, New Hampshire, was sentenced on Monday to serve 65 months in prison for participating in a fentanyl drug trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, as a result of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation, agents and task force officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration learned that on March 1, 2018, McLain intended to travel from New Hampshire to a location in Lawrence, Massachusetts to purchase 250 grams of a controlled substance. Agents conducted surveillance in the area of the transaction and observed a known drug trafficker get in the back seat of the car; and after a few minutes, get out again. The vehicle left Massachusetts and agents followed it directly to New Hampshire.
The agents informed a New Hampshire State Trooper patrolling Interstate Route 93 about their surveillance observations. The trooper stopped the vehicle for traffic violations and identified the driver and McLain as the passenger. McLain subsequently admitted to purchasing one gram of fentanyl, which he claimed he swallowed. The owner of the vehicle consented to a search of her car and signed a consent to search form. The troopers found a hidden compartment in the vehicle that contained approximately 240 grams of fentanyl. McLain admitted that he purchased fentanyl in Lawrence and resold the fentanyl in New Hampshire. Over the course of the investigation, McLain ordered approximately 560 grams of fentanyl. McLain also admitted that he traded fentanyl in exchange for a firearm.
McLain directed officers to approximately $11,000 of admitted drug proceeds, and firearms. Officers seized four handguns, a rifle, and ammunition from McLain’s residence. They also seized soda cans that were manufactured with a hidden compartment to conceal narcotics. The cash, firearms, and ammunition were forfeited to the United States.
McLain previously pleaded guilty on October 1, 2018.
“Interstate fentanyl trafficking is causing tremendous damage to communities throughout New Hampshire,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “In order to protect public safety, we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate those who are responsible for bringing this deadly drug into the Granite State.”
“Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Today’s sentence not only holds Mr. McLain accountable for his crimes but serves as a warning to those traffickers who are fueling the opioid epidemic in the Granite State.”
The case was a collaborative investigation that involved the DEA; the New Hampshire State Police; the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; the Nashua Police Department; the Massachusetts State Police; the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office; the Essex County District Attorney’s Office; the Internal Revenue Service; Immigration and
Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; United States Customs and Border Protection Boston Field Office; the United States Marshals Service; the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service; the Manchester Police Department; the Lisbon Police Department; the Littleton Police Department; the Seabrook Police Department; the Haverhill (MA) Police Department; the Methuen (MA) Police Department; the Lowell (MA) Police Department; and the Maine State Police.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. Konesky, Seth R. Aframe and Debra M. Walsh.
This case was supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.