Three men who were part of a group of 16 people who conspired to traffic in bath salts in Penobscot and Aroostook Counties have been sentenced to prison.

Department of Justice

United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Jacob Gagnon, 27, formerly of Bangor and Van Buren, and Alan Ketchen, 43, formerly of Bangor, were sentenced Monday; and Ryan Ellis, 37, formerly of Greenbush and Levant, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr.

Gagnon was sentenced to six years and three months in prison. Ketchen, who also pled guilty to maintaining a drug involved premises, was sentenced to 13 years and four months. Ellis, who also pled guilty to possession of firearms in connection with a drug trafficking offense, was sentenced to 15 years.  Each defendant was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release.

According to court records, between April and December 2011, the defendants and their co-conspirators illegally distributed MDPV (bath salts) in Penobscot County and elsewhere.  Ellis was the ring leader and obtained large quantities of the drug that he supplied to Gagnon, Ketchen and others, who distributed it to dealers in the Bangor area.  Ellis also distributed the drug in the mid-coast area and in Aroostook County.

Gagnon, who also was known as “Jake the Snake,” was living in Van Buren and attending Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle when he was arrested in August 2013.

The three defendants were the last of sixteen defendants to be sentenced as part of this investigation which was conducted by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bangor, Old Town, Brewer and Veazie Police Departments.