FARMINGTON – A New Sharon man received a 30-day jail sentence today, after pleading guilty to having more than 11 pounds of marijuana in his house.
Alan Keith, 57, of New Sharon, also pleaded to illegally possession of a firearm, in addition to aggravated unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs. Both are Class C felonies.
Franklin County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kenneth Charles was at Keith’s residence on the Swan Road on Nov. 8, 2007, to pick up guns belonging to another individual. According to Keith, in a story backed up by the police, he was holding onto the guns as his friend was going through a domestic dispute.
Despite this, Keith should not have legally had the guns, as he has a prior felony conviction in New Jersey.
While at the residence, Charles detected the odor of marijuana. After a brief discussion, Charles got Keith’s permission to search the house, immediately finding a small amount of the drug, which was handed over to the deputy. Charles then called Detective Tom White to assist, and together they found 11.2 pounds of extremely high quality marijuana.
The plea agreement resulted in a more serious charge of aggravated trafficking being dropped, and setting the maximum amount of jail time at six months.
Keith, for his part, claimed that he had been basically taken advantage of twice. The first time occurred when he agreed to hold onto his friend’s guns. The second time was when friends of a former roommate had their car break down on Swan Road. Keith says that these men hid the 11.2 pounds of marijuana in his house. Then, he says, he was alerted to its presence by a phone call by the former roommate. He agreed to let them store it there.
Under the Maine statutes, unlawful furnishing only requires the individual have a knowledge of the substance’s presence and an adequate time to have gotten rid of it.
For his part, Keith said that he occasionally used small amounts of marijuana to control the pain caused by his kneecap being shattered in ten pieces. That small amount was what Charles initially confiscated.
“It’s bizzare,” Keith admitted at one point, “and I don’t believe it myself. But [the 11.2 pounds of marijuana] was dropped off by these people. I set myself up for this stuff, and I don’t know why.”
“It does seem a tad far-fetched,” Justice Michaela Murphy said.
In addition to the 30 days in jail, Keith will have to pay a $1,000 fine.