Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

100 Middle Street
6th Floor, East Tower
Portland, ME 04101

(207) 780-3257
TTY (207) 780-3060
Fax (207) 780-3304

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2009

Contact: Daniel J. Perry, Assistant United States Attorney

(207) 780-3257

Massachusetts Man Receives Life Sentence for Cocaine Trafficking

Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Paula D. Silsby announced today that Richard Szpyt, age 51, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Portland to life in prison for his role in conspiring to traffick cocaine. U.S. Chief District Judge George Z. Singal imposed the sentence following a June 2009 trial in which the jury found Szpyt guilty of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

This conviction and sentence resulted from an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). This investigation was conducted over a period of approximately eighteen months and targeted cocaine distributors in the Old Orchard Beach area. According to the government's evidence introduced at trial, Szpyt was the President of the Maine chapter of the Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club and Szpyt was obtaining kilogram quantities of cocaine from sources of supply in Haverhill, Massachusetts and distributing the cocaine through other members of the Iron Horsemen Club in Old Orchard Beach Maine.

Because of the quantity of cocaine involved in this case, as well as Szpyt's criminal record, Szpyt faced a mandatory term of life imprisonment without release under federal law.

Szpyt was the twenty-seventh defendant convicted as a result of this investigation.

United States Attorney Silsby praised the investigative efforts of DEA, ATF, York County Sheriff's Office, Maine State Police, Massachusetts State Police, and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. U.S. Attorney Silsby stated that Szpyt's conviction and sentence, and the other twenty-six convictions, are significant because the convictions dismantled a significant drug trafficking group in Southern Maine and also send a strong message that those who choose to traffic such drugs in Maine will be prosecuted and face stiff penalties.