NEWBURYPORT — A New Hampshire man accused of selling oxycodone to an undercover local police officer last summer pleaded guilty yesterday to two distribution charges and was sentenced to six months in jail.
Kenneth E. Chapman, 60, of Kingston, was arrested on Aug. 30 after a warrant for his arrest was issued by a Newburyport police officer who had purchased six oxycodone pills for $200. Chapman’s case had been slated for a jury trial yesterday but with no judges available, the trial was to be postponed. Instead of waiting for his day in court, Chapman reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Upon sentencing, Chapman was escorted into custody by a court officer and placed in hand and leg restraints.
According to court records, a Newburyport police officer received a phone call from a confidential informant alerting him to Chapman’s drug activities and that he could set up a buy in order to implicate Chapman. On July 1, the officer met up with the informant, who introduced him to Chapman. The officer then purchased six pills and thanked Chapman from making the trip from New Hampshire.
He then asked Chapman about making additional purchases and was told that he could buy as many as 100 pills at a time if he so desired.
The officer returned to the station, and based on the drug transaction and a look at Chapman’s criminal history — which included convictions for arson, drug possession, receiving stolen property and drunken driving — an arrest warrant was granted by the district court.
In the months before yesterday’s plea deal, Chapman’s court-appointed attorney filed multiple motions with the court, hoping to learn the identity of the confidential informant, arguing that it was necessary to Chapman’s defense. The motions were denied, according to court records.