A man facing at least five years in federal prison pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Brunswick, and revealed another instance in which dealers may not know the substance they’re dealing.
Maurice Fields, 34, admitted to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing a quantity of marijuana and MDMA, along with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
A federal grand jury issued an indictment Nov. 8 against Fields and six other defendants for participating in this conspiracy.
Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kirkland, Michael Scott Sapp — assigned to an FBI violent gang task force from the Brunswick Police Department — said investigators had a wire tap on Fields’ phone that reveled conversations with suppliers, in which Fields usually asked for an ounce of any one substance. Then there were multiple contacts with clients in which he was to arrange the sale of numerous smaller amounts of those substances.
Sapp said they put a pole camera for surveillance on Fields’ residence in the 3000 block of Reynolds Street, while also conducting physical surveillance in the area, and saw regular traffic of customers that correlated to the phone contacts.
On May 9, 2018, Sapp said they executed a search warrant on the residence and found marijuana and what was supposed to be MDMA — and was sold as MDMA, otherwise known as methylenedioxymethamphetamine — but was actually what the U.S. Attorney’s Office is calling bath salts, N-ethylpentylone.
Investigators also found a Taurus 9mm handgun.
On the first charge, Fields faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a minimum of three years’ supervised release. The gun charge carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and up to five years’ supervised release, and is to run consecutive to any sentence imposed for the drug charge.
In a separate matter, Edison DeJesus Garcia Arpon, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of stolen mail. A postal inspector testified that on Oct. 1, 2018, a Kingsland police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a black Mercedes-Benz that Garcia Arpon occupied. The Mercedes fled into Florida, where it wrecked at the agriculture inspection station. Garcia Arpon and the other person in the vehicle left on foot, but he was captured and arrested.
The inspector said three bags of mail from Richmond Hill — along with break-in tools — were found in the vehicle.
Garcia Arpon, who is from Cuba but has permanent residency in the United States, faces up to five years in prison and three years’ supervised release.