U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray reported this week that Rochester’s James M. Nesbitt was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on Friday for engaging in a plot to manufacture methamphetamine and fentanyl and possessing weapons in support of a drug trafficking crime.
Nesbitt conspired with two other people to obtain fentanyl and crystal “ice” methamphetamine in order to distribute and distribute it according to legal records and comments made in court. The New Hampshire State Police (‘NHSP’) carried out a vehicle stop on November 7, 2018, and confiscated fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other drugs from Nesbitt’s vehicle. The NHSP and DEA searched Nesbitt’s hotel room in Ossipee later that evening and confiscated approximately 171 grammes of methamphetamine, smaller amounts of fentanyl and other opioids, and a semi-automatic pistol. DEA agents detained Nesbitt and a co-conspirator at their residence in Rochester on December 20, 2018 and seized fentanyl and four weapons and assorted ammunition.
On November 3, 2018, a confidential informant told the DEA that a supplier in California had bought 330 grammes of methamphetamine from McKay. The informant told the DEA that at Nesbitt’s home address, Nesbitt and McKay were awaiting the delivery. The source told the DEA a few days later that Nesbitt and McKay had requested an additional methamphetamine shipment. The source also told the DEA that Nesbitt had several fingers of fentanyl” and was in his Ford F-250 truck heading to a hotel in North Conway.
The truck as well as McKay’s Jaguar sedan were spotted by state police. Nesbitt was in the truck’s passenger seat and Hansler was driving. The police concluded that Hansler was “erratically driving” and made a traffic stop. Police searched the truck during the stop and confiscated $6,000 in cash, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and 58 grammes of heroin.
“Haley,” Nesbitt shouted to Hansler during the traffic stop, “I had crystal meth in my pocket, I’m going to prison,” Nesbitt told police during interrogation that during the traffic stop, he had won a draw for the $6,000 in cash found. Later, Nesbitt told investigators that by selling methamphetamine, he had gained income. He clarified that every week, the drug trafficking plot netted him about $2,000.
Nesbitt told the DEA that on the darkweb, McKay had bought methamphetamine and used the home address of Nesbitt to obtain the shipments. He was angry that McKay had used his address, resulting in paranoia, Nesbitt said. After receiving the package, Nesbitt said he had booked the hotel and had taken the six ounces of methamphetamine with him to the hotel. He was hoping to break it up at the hotel with McKay.
Previously, Nesbitt pled guilty on March 6, 2020. Haley Hansler and William McKay, Nesbitt’s co-conspirators, have also pleaded guilty. On April 28, 2020, Hansler was sentenced to 60 months and McKay is awaiting sentencing.
Hansler was sentenced to five years in prison on April 28, 2020. Nesbitt was sentenced to ten years in prison on November 16, 2020.
“Armed drug traffickers are a threat to all,” said the U.S. Murray’s solicitor. As they carry weapons when selling their dangerous goods, the dangers faced by drug dealers are greatly enhanced. We will continue to work closely with all our law enforcement partners to find, convict and detain armed drug traffickers who jeopardise the health and welfare of our people in order to keep the Granite State secure.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad; the New Hampshire State Police; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the Strafford County Drug Task Force.