PEABODY — A North Shore man whose long struggle with opiate addiction turned his hairdresser mother into an anti-drug activist was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Friday after admitting to heroin distribution charges.
Shane Hansen, 30, grew up in Beverly and Peabody and was living in a mobile home park on Route 1 when he was arrested by local police and federal agents in July of 2013, following an investigation into drugs and illegal firearms sales.
Hansen is already serving a 10-year federal sentence after pleading guilty late last year to selling a handgun with an obliterated serial number to a person who turned out to be an informant working with federal agents.
The sentence imposed Friday in U.S. District Court will be served concurrently, or at the same time.
Federal prosecutors charged that in January of 2012, Hansen had distributed drugs in Peabody. The following year, in what his attorney suggested was an effort to support his severe drug habit, Hansen agreed to sell the 9 mm handgun in Beverly.
He was arrested in July of 2013.
Both sentences were the results of plea agreements, which were accepted by federal judges, who recommended that Hansen serve at least part of his sentence in a residential drug treatment program operated by the Bureau of Prisons, and that he also receive vocational training or other education to improve his chances of gainful employment.
Had he gone to trial, Hansen could have received up to 20 years in prison.
Prior to his current troubles, Hansen had served relatively brief terms for drug charges. But his addiction continued to rage; he was even caught trying to use drugs inside a Salem court lockup in 2009.
In 2003, Hansen survived an opiate overdose with the use of Narcan, an antidote. His mother, Denise, has been an outspoken advocate for better treatment options. In 2006, she organized a vigil in Peabody, where she read aloud the names of 200 drug overdose victims.
Yet the problem continues. In a letter to the court in her son’s latest case, she described how she repeatedly contacted now-former Rep. John Tierney’s office, and wrote to now-former Gov. Deval Patrick in support of his effort to ban the use of a new prescription opiate, Zohydro, in Massachusetts.