A former Waldoboro man began a one-year prison sentence Friday, May 19 for trafficking cocaine in Waldoboro in 2014.
Franz T. Morris, 53, pleaded guilty May 1 to class B trafficking in schedule W drugs (cocaine), according to court documents. He was sentenced to five years in custody with all but one year suspended, plus two years of probation.
Investigators charged Morris’ sister and his then-girlfriend with trafficking as well, but both pleaded to lesser charges and will avoid jail time.
Morris was scheduled to begin his sentence at 5 p.m. Friday. He must pay $515 in fines after his release. His probation conditions prohibit the possession or use of illegal drugs or marijuana and allow random searches and tests to ensure compliance.
The state reduced the charge from class A aggravated trafficking, according to court documents.
The plea deal follows a three-day trial, Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, and Monday, May 1, that ended when the sides struck the plea deal during jury deliberations.
Morris trafficked cocaine in Waldoboro from roughly June 1 to Oct. 1, 2014, according to his indictment.
Court documents contain few details of the nearly 3-year-old case. According to transcripts of testimony at trial, Morris would buy cocaine in Massachusetts and bring it to Waldoboro, where he would repackage and resell it.
Morris, his sister, and his then-girlfriend all lived at the same address in Waldoboro at the time of the investigation.
The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency seized 17 grams of cocaine in 1-gram packages at the house Oct. 1, 2014, as well as cash, packaging materials, scales, and “cutting agents” used to dilute cocaine in order to increase profits, according to a Maine Department of Public Safety press release issued the next day. Only Morris’ then-girlfriend, Regina M. Bowman, was arrested at the time.
A gram of cocaine sells for about $100 in the Midcoast, according to the press release.
Morris has a violent criminal history, including convictions for criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and gross sexual assault in 1994, as well as domestic violence assault in 2012. He also has a 2012 felony conviction for drug trafficking.
Morris lists addresses in Fairhaven, Mass. and Tenants Harbor in recent court documents. The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board lists a work address for Morris in New Bedford, Mass.
Bowman, 46, of Waldoboro, pleaded guilty May 8 to a single count of class D unlawful possession of schedule W drugs, a misdemeanor, and agreed to forfeit $2,888 in cash seized during the Oct. 1 search, according to court documents. She must pay a $500 fine.
The state dismissed one count each of class B unlawful possession of schedule W drugs (cocaine), class B unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (cocaine), and class C conspiracy to commit unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (oxycodone), all felonies, according to court documents.
Morris’ sister, Melissa J. Weaver, 58, of Waldo and formerly of Waldoboro, pleaded guilty Nov. 28, 2016 to class C conspiracy to commit unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (cocaine) as part of a deferred disposition, according to court documents.
The state dismissed a charge of class B trafficking. If Weaver abides by the terms of the deferred disposition for a year, the state will also dismiss the conspiracy charge and Weaver will plead guilty to class D unlawful possession of schedule W drugs and pay a $400 fine.
A hearing to determine the final outcome of Weaver’s case will take place at 1 p.m. Nov. 27.
Assistant Attorney General Johnathan G. Nathans represented the state. Portland-based attorney William Maselli represented Morris. Portland-based attorney Peter E. Rodway represented Bowman. Rockland-based attorney William F. Pagnano represented Weaver.