A Keene man charged with running a drug-selling operation in the area and possessing large amounts of stolen property was sentenced to three to eight years in prison Tuesday.
Christopher M. LaCroix, 28, pleaded guilty in Cheshire County Superior Court to possession of a controlled drug after a prior conviction and receiving stolen property, both felonies, according to court documents. He also admitted to violating his probation.
LaCroix was arrested in December along with another man, Ryan Youngman, 29, of Winchester. According to an affidavit written by Detective Jennifer Truman, several people told Keene police that Youngman was selling for LaCroix, and an informant working with police bought crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl from Youngman.
Keene police obtained search warrants that allowed them to view Facebook messages between the two men, in which LaCroix appears to be giving Youngman directions to pick up drugs, according to exchanges printed in the affidavit. Keene police also attached a GPS monitor to Youngman’s car, which tracked him making multiple trips between Lawrence, Mass. — a common source of supply for New Hampshire drug dealers — and LaCroix’s home in Keene, Truman wrote.
Police arrested Youngman on Dec. 3 as he returned to Keene from Lawrence, the Keene Police Department said in a news release the following day. The department said it found fentanyl and crack cocaine in his vehicle.
Youngman has been charged with sale of a controlled drug and possession with intent to sell. His case remains pending.
When Keene police arrested LaCroix and searched his house on New Acres Road on Dec. 4, officers found a large amount of merchandise, including security equipment and electronics, Truman wrote in a separate affidavit. Text messages on his phone indicated another person was stealing items from area stores and trading it to LaCroix for money or drugs, according to the affidavit.
Police estimated the value of the merchandise at $30,000, the department said in its news release.
A charge of being a drug enterprise leader — which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years — was dropped as part of a plea agreement with LaCroix.
LaCroix’s attorney, Donald Topham, did not respond to a request for comment Friday.