(NEWS CENTER) -- On Tuesday, Dale Pinkham, Sr., 56, of Buxton, was sentenced in US Federal Court to 240 months (10-years) in prison for being a 'ringleader' in a family operation that moved large quantities of heroin from Mass. into Maine. Pinkham Sr. was also found guilty of witness intimidation for attempting to send letters from jail to his associates instructing them how to threaten government witnesses. The investigation was coordinated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the Maine State Police, and the York County Sheriff’s Office. Pinkham Sr. was federally prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.

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Investigators showed that Pinkham Sr. was responsible for trafficking up to 3 kilos of heroin into Maine. Pinkham Sr. also trafficked stolen firearms that people would bring him in exchange for heroin. Pinkham Sr. transported some of these firearms out of state where they were sold for more drugs. Pinkham Sr.’s three sons and girlfriend have already been sentenced in federal court for their own roles in the operation.

Pinkham Sr. first became the target of this investigation in the fall of '14 when state police and the York County Sheriff’s Office began receiving complaints of residential burglaries. Residents reported numerous items stolen that included firearms. Those responsible for the burglaries were later apprehended and explained to authorities that Pinkham Sr. would provide them with a “shopping list” of items he wanted in return for heroin. They would then commit the burglaries and transport the stolen items back to Pinkham Sr. and his family members.