A former Hinsdale resident pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to a felony count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release that day.
Michael Racine, 50, had been arrested on the single charge in February and has been detained since, the release states. Law enforcement first received information that Racine was involved in the distribution of controlled substances in the Keene and Brattleboro area in March 2019, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court of New Hampshire in Concord.
In August of that year, a confidential informant accompanied by an undercover Homeland Securities Investigations special agent purchased crack cocaine from Racine in downtown Brattleboro, the court document states.
When an undercover agent again purchased crack cocaine from Racine later that month, Racine informed the officer that the drugs were being brought to Brattleboro from the Hinsdale area, according to court documents.
In that instance, the driver of a 1999 Plymouth Breeze sedan — Ralphie Garcia, who has also pleaded guilty to a single federal charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to court documents — took the money from Racine and provided him the drugs.
An undercover agent arranged a third purchase of drugs that month, requesting an unspecified quantity of cocaine for $1,600, but Racine took the money and fled without providing the drugs, the plea agreement states.
After the failed deal, an undercover agent contacted Garcia and arranged a drug purchase in Brattleboro, which another unnamed individual then sold to the agent, according to court documents.
Police initially arrested Garcia in April 2021. According to his plea agreement, Garcia and the government have agreed that 12 months and one day of imprisonment is appropriate. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November, court documents state.
Racine has agreed to pay the government $1,600 in restitution and both parties have agreed to a 30-month prison term, according to his plea agreement. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January, court documents state.
Both Racine and Garcia could have faced up to 20 years in prison on the drug charge. A lawyer for Racine declined to comment on his case. A lawyer for Garcia did not return a request for comment Tuesday.