Two sentenced in methamphetamine case

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 02-20-2023 8:10 PM

CONCORD — An Upper Valley couple — one a graduate of Lebanon High School and the other a graduate of Stevens High School — at the center of a local methamphetamine distribution ring shared a background in homes broken by absentee fathers, alcoholism and trauma before they themselves succumbed to addiction and became drug suppliers, court documents show.

Heather Dubeau, formerly of Plainfield and Canaan, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire last Thursday to three years and three months in federal prison after pleading guilty on Jan. 26 for her participation in a methamphetamine distribution operation involving five other New Hampshire co-defendants.

Dubeau’s sentence came a week after the 72-month prison sentence handed down to her former boyfriend, Gary Sewell, who along with four other people — three of them also from the Upper Valley — have all pleaded guilty to running a methamphetamine distribution ring that sent drugs from Arizona to New Hampshire.

Federal prosecutors charged Dubeau, 38, and co-defendant Sewell, 41, formerly of Enfield, with conspiracy to ship two packages containing a kilogram, or more than 2 pounds, of methamphetamine from Arizona via United Parcel Service to addresses in Lebanon and Laconia, N.H., in 2019, according to court documents.

Dubeau, a former clinical secretary at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Sewell were in a relationship together when they moved from the Upper Valley to Tempe. Ariz., in 2017, according to court documents.

Dubeau and Sewell each faced a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life in prison for the respective and identical offenses to which they pleaded guilty, according to court documents.

Both defendants experienced significant physical and psychological trauma in their youth, which contributed to their eventual dependency on drugs and involvement in narcotics distribution, according to pre-sentencing memoranda that outlined the reasons for downward judgments prepared by their defense attorneys.

And both Dubeau and Sewell had fathers who were alcoholics and not present for much of their upbringings, the memorandums attest.

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Sewell, a former district manager at FedEx, had become dependent upon opiates in the aftermath of injuries sustained when he was struck by a pickup truck and thrown 40 feet when he was 21-years old while walking along Sykes Mountain Avenue in White River Junction in 2002, according to court documents and published reports at the time.

Dubeau’s father, now deceased, served a six-year prison sentence for shooting his girlfriend in the face with shotgun pellets in 2000 when Dubeau was about 15-years old.

Her younger brother took his own life two weeks before Dubeau’s indictment was handed up in 2020, according to court documents and published reports at the time.

Sewell, who pleaded guilty last May, was sentenced on Feb. 9 to six years in prison.

Prosecutors said that agents in the Manchester office of the Drug Enforcement Agency received information in 2019 that “two suspicious UPS parcels” were being shipped by Sewell and Dubeau from Arizona to addresses in Lebanon and Laconia, N.H.

After investigators interdicted the packages, they were granted a warrant to open the packages and remove the drugs, and then set up a sting operation with the receiving parties, according to court documents.

Sewell told investigators after his arrest that he estimated he had shipped back a total of about 30 pounds of methamphetamine to New Hampshire over time.

Other co-defendants who have pleaded guilty in the case and scheduled to be sentenced later this month include Eli Margolis, of Grantham; Chad Rombow, of Grafton; and Dylan Miles, of Laconia, N.H., according to the N.H. U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Co-defendant Andrew Hutchins, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine on May 5, 2022.

He was sentenced last August to time served and placed on supervised release for three years, court documents show.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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