Published on July 30th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Three Men Sentenced for Conspiracy to Traffic Drugs
Three men with New Hampshire ties were recently sentenced for conspiracy to traffic drugs, among other charges, in U.S. District Court in Concord.
Lucas Mohr, 22, of Keene; Taylor Canaday, 21, of Chesterfield; and Steven Lauder, 24, of Breckinridge, Colo., who was a Keene State College student, sold marijuana in the Keene area, according to court documents.
The men pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, hashish and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.
They also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use the U.S. mail to facilitate drug trafficking offenses and conspiracy to launder money. They were among seven charged in a drug conspiracy that authorities began investigating in 2009.
According to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court, events unfolded this way:
Lauder told police he was a student at Keene State, where he met Mohr. In winter 2010, while snowboarding, Lauder and Mohr met Shane Bellavance and his brother Braedon, who lived in Lyndonville, Vt., and who were students at Lyndon State College.
During spring and summer 2010, Braedon Bellavance “fronted” Mohr small amounts of marijuana he got from a former roommate who had moved to California. After selling the drug, Mohr paid Braedon Bellavance for the marijuana by mailing him cash or by delivering it to him.
When Braedon Bellavance got the money, he would “front” more marijuana to Mohr, who would sell it. Mohr also paid Bellavance by sending him cash hidden in express mail packages.
In late summer 2010, the Bellavance brothers moved to California to join the former roommate, Elton Bonneville. The three would then ship marijuana to Mohr and others in New Hampshire and Vermont. Mohr moved California in the fall to meet up with the group.
After he moved west, Mohr would ship marijuana through the U.S. Postal Service to Lauder and Canaday, and each would sell their goods in the area. Canaday paid Mohr between $3,000 and $4,000 per pound.
After that, the two would combine their money to pay Mohr for future shipments by depositing the cash into his bank account, or shipping the money, hidden in magazines, through the postal service.
In early 2011, Keene’s postmaster alerted authorities to a suspicious package, and a caller, later identified as Mohr, asking about the package, who sounded nervous. When Lauder picked up the package from the post office, law enforcement officers met him and found marijuana in the parcel. Lauder told officers that some of the drug was supposed to go to Canaday.
Officers directed Lauder to set up a delivery to Canaday. When Canaday took the package from Lauder’s car trunk, he was arrested.
Mohr was sentenced to 21 months in prison; Lauder received three years probation and Canaday two years probation.
Braedon Bellavance, 25, and Shane Bellavance, 28, of Mansfield, Mass.; Bonneville, 24, of Beckett, Mass.; and James Mayer, 23, of Lyndonville, Vt., were sentenced to prison time.
In total, from 2009 to 2011, about 80 kilograms of marijuana – more than 175 pounds – with a street value of more than $500,000 was shipped from California to Vermont and New Hampshire, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The other defendants, James Murray, 25, of Lyndonville, Vt., and Brian Sawyer, 25, of Marlborough, Mass., a Plymouth State University student, await sentencing.
Source: sentinelsource.com “Three Men Sentenced for Conspiracy to Traffic Drugs,” July 30, 2013.