Penacook man reaches plea deal in Tilton drug case

  • The drugs, cash and handgun seized by Tilton police following a motor vehicle stop on Laconia Road in September 2016 —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Monday, May 15, 2017

A Penacook man accused of selling fentanyl and methamphetamine in the Tilton area in September has reached a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bryan Franklin, 41, pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawful possession of the drugs with intent to distribute and of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

He faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the drug charge and a consecutive sentence of no less than five years on the firearms charge. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 23 in U.S. District Court in Concord.

Franklin was arrested Sept. 24 following a motor vehicle stop on Laconia Road in Tilton. Tilton police Officer Jeremiah Trott stopped a beat-up old Acura driven by Franklin after observing a fake inspection sticker taped to the car’s windshield, according to court records. During the traffic stop, a woman pulled up in a new Toyota Tundra, which Franklin told police he owned but was letting a friend drive so he could buy the Acura.

Trott said he was familiar with Franklin after previous narcotics investigations, and, in his own mind, questioned whether the man had pawned the vehicle for drugs or taken it for unpaid debt, the affidavit says.

Authorities subsequently searched both vehicles, which they said contained drug paraphernalia, cash and weapons. More specifically, they seized a lockbox containing $15,958, as well as 750 grams of fentanyl, 17 grams of methamphetamine, assorted prescription pills, digital scales, multiple needles, and a backpack containing a loaded semi-automatic handgun reported stolen in Boston. They also found two knives and an ax.

As part of the plea deal, Franklin agreed to forfeit the $15,958 and the stolen Smith & Wesson .45-caliber handgun.

In a statement following the plea hearing, acting U.S. Attorney John Farley said the investigation and prosecution of those trafficking opioids in New Hampshire remains a top priority at the federal office.

“The quick-thinking law enforcement officers who seized this large quantity of fentanyl and prevented it from being distributed may have saved many lives,” he said.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)