A 41-year-old Hartland man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Bangor for trafficking in fentanyl out of his home in central Maine.

U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Nicholas Culver to 14 years in prison and five years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee.

Court records show that between January and July of 2018, Culver would obtain fentanyl from an out-of-state source on a weekly basis and then transport the drugs back to his residence in Hartland, Maine for distribution.

Culver was arrested in July 2018 after officers executed a search warrant on his Mercedes Benz on Route 2 in Canaan, Maine. Police confiscated over 30 grams of fentanyl, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol and more than $3,000 in proceeds of drug trafficking. He admitted to carrying the gun to deter people from robbing him during drug deals.

Officers also found seven more handguns at Culver’s home and over $16,000 in cash.

Police later arrested 24-year-old Amanda Cowette of Canaan for her involvement in the drug trafficking operation. Both were held at the Somerset County Jail

Culver was charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. He pleaded guilty in December 2018.

During the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Judge Walker said that Culver was responsible for “a staggering amount of some of the most lethal poison in the illicit drug market.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation.

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