Skip to main content
Press Release

Rochester Man Sentenced to 120 Months for Drug Trafficking and Gun Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

          CONCORD - James M. Nesbitt, 44, of Rochester, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on Friday for participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl and possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, Nesbitt conspired with two other individuals to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl and crystal “ice” methamphetamine.  On November 7, 2018, the New Hampshire State Police (“NHSP”) conducted a vehicle stop of Nesbitt’s vehicle and seized fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other drugs. Later the same evening, the NHSP and the DEA searched Nesbitt’s hotel room in Ossipee and seized approximately 171 grams of methamphetamine, smaller quantities of fentanyl and other narcotics, and a semi-automatic handgun. On December 20, 2018, DEA agents arrested Nesbitt and a co-conspirator at their Rochester residence and seized fentanyl and four firearms and assorted ammunition.

             Nesbitt previously pleaded guilty on March 6, 2020.  Nesbitt’s co-conspirators Haley Hansler and William McKay both have pleaded guilty. Hansler was sentenced to 60 months on April 28, 2020 and McKay is awaiting sentencing.

             “Armed drug traffickers are a menace to everyone,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “The hazards posed by drug dealers are greatly enhanced when they carry guns while selling their dangerous wares.  In order to keep the Granite State safe, we will continue to work closely with all of our law enforcement partners to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate the armed drug dealers who jeopardize the health and safety of our citizens.”

             “Drugs and guns are a deadly combination,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle.  “DEA is committed to bring to justice poly-drug traffickers like Mr. Nesbitt.  This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement efforts in New Hampshire.” 

             This case was supported by the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy.  Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

             This case was investigated by the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad, the New Hampshire State Police, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Strafford County Drug Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Cole Davis.


Updated November 16, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-144