July 17, 2003

JULY 17, 2003



Attorney General Steven Rowe today announced that Bruce Cornforth, 38, of Gardiner was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but two years suspended on felony charges of trafficking and furnishing heroin and misdemeanor charges of violating bail and theft.  The drug charges stem from a tip drug agents received on February 6, 2003.  The tip led to a search that yielded 30 bags of heroin and drug ledgers.  Cornforth also tested positive for drug use and admitted to furnishing drugs while he was out on bail two weeks later.  The theft charge involved a shoplifting incident at a JC Penney store in Penobscot County.  Superior Court Justice Kirk Studstrup accepted the guilty pleas and imposed the sentence Tuesday.

Cornforth’s criminal record included two prior convictions for OUI, as well as a prior probation violation on convictions for assault and criminal mischief.  These are Cornforth’s first drug convictions.

Prior to being sentenced, Cornforth addressed the court and spoke of his addiction to alcohol, oxycodone, cocaine and heroin and his efforts to combat his substance abuse problem.  He stated that at the time of his arrest, he was using 50 or more bags of heroin each day, and that his addiction had cost him a good career, his family and the respect of his children.  

These cases were prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office and investigated by the Gardiner Police Department, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA), the Augusta Police Department and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. 

George Connick, the supervisor of the Augusta Field Office of MDEA, stated, “Central Maine is being ravaged by the use and sale of heroin and hard drugs.  This case serves as a warning to those in the community that local law enforcement agencies are all working together to stamp out illegal drug use and sales in our community.” 

Assistant Attorney General Lara M. Nomani, who handled the case for the State, said, “Mr. Cornforth had a $1,000 per day drug habit.  It’s impossible for a regular person to support a habit like that without resorting to the kinds of crimes that can land you in prison.  The message here is don’t use; if you do use, get clean.” 

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