A Woonsocket, RI man was sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison for drug trafficking after being arrested more than two dozen times.
U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. on Friday imposed the sentence on 40-year-old Richard Courtemanche, who was apprehended on 25 separate occasions over the span of several years.
Courtemanche was indicted in September 2016 on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and of distribution of a controlled substance. He pleaded guilty to the charges in June.
The charges were the result of an investigation by the Woonsocket Police Department and the Rhode Island State Police, which began in February 2016. The investigation revealed that Courtemanche had been involved in the distribution of oxycodone, an opioid-based drug, in the Woonsocket area.
Courtemanche was apprehended in May 2016 and found to be in possession of approximately 500 oxycodone pills. He was subsequently charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance.
At sentencing, Courtemanche was ordered to serve a 15-year prison term, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and to forfeit the proceeds of his drug trafficking.
In imposing the sentence, Judge McConnell noted Courtemanche’s history of repeated arrests and said that the sentence was necessary to protect the public from further criminal activity.
“The defendant’s long pattern of criminal activity has resulted in repeated arrests and convictions. This sentence is meant to protect the public from further criminal conduct and to send a strong message that drug trafficking will not be tolerated,” the judge said.