Bethel man found with gun and drugs gets time already served

·3 min read

Jul. 18—PORTLAND — A Bethel man convicted of having a gun while he had illegal drugs, such as LSD, was sentenced Monday to time served, plus supervised release.

Samuel Drew, 24, pleaded guilty to the charge in December. He faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for possession of a firearm by unlawful user of controlled substances. He will be on supervised release for three years.

In court papers, his attorney, David Beneman, wrote that his client has been free on bail since his 2020 arrest. During that time, Drew "has confronted his drug use and need for mental health treatment, obtained counseling and is actively in treatment."

Beneman said Drew lives with his family and is employed.

Drew is maintaining his sobriety, engaged in healthy activities and has demonstrated his commitment to a positive and lawful life, Beneman wrote.

Beneman wrote that Drew's upbringing was filled with trauma, family addiction and abusive relationships.

Drew's biological father was an alcoholic who left when Drew was 8 months old. He had no

relationship with his father, Beneman wrote.

Drew is "very close with his mother," who is a native American of the Wabanaki Tribe, Beneman wrote.

His mother described her son's life in a letter to the judge that detailed Drew's life, starting with a car crash when Drew was young. His mother and stepfather were injured and treated with pain medication that led to their opiate addictions, she wrote.

When Drew was 6 years told, his maternal grandmother committed suicide by firearm. Drew had been close to her, having lived with her on and off since he was an infant.

His grandmother had been to him a source of love and stability and her death traumatized him, according to Drew's mother.

Drew's therapist wrote in court papers that Drew had made "remarkable progress" in the short time he has been in counseling and "is engaged, is working through high levels of racial bias, which he is overcoming and is processing what led to the event."

His therapist wrote that Drew "does have a history of being diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and this writer is able to identify major depressive disorder related to his current life situation and potential sentencing. He is also showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder from being a victim of severe assaults." She said Drew "has insight and wants to be a better person for his family, community and self."

Prosecutors said that on June 12, 2020, federal agents executed a search warrant at Drew's home in Bethel. Among the items they recovered was a brown SCCY CPX-2, 9 mm handgun from a backpack Drew was carrying. They also found a strip of paper in Drew's bedroom, which was later confirmed through laboratory analysis to contain lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.

Agents seized Drew's cellphone. Multiple text messages found on the phone showed that Drew was a user of LSD, which is a scheduled controlled substance. Messages sent by Drew as late as June 7, 2020, said: "I'm legit on 8 tabs of acid (right now.)" He described the LSD as "insane," meaning that it was very powerful, according to U.S. Attorney Dacie McElwee, who prosecuted the case.

Because the handgun was manufactured outside of the state of Maine, the case was deemed federal.

Beneman said his client is a native American who enjoyed target shooting.

"A lifetime firearm prohibition is a serious sanction," he wrote.