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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The U.S. Attorney's office said Ryan Ellis pleaded guilty Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Bangor to the possession and intent to distribute MDPV, a chemical compound known as "bath salts." Ellis, who is a former resident of Greenbush, Maine, was also charged with the possession of firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking offense.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Ellis was a part of a drug ring that illegally distributed large quantities of bath salts in Penobscot, Aroostook and Knox counties in 2011. Ellis obtained bath salts from other conspirators, processed, repacked it, and distributed it to other conspirators for re-sale. In 2011, officials found Ellis in possession of two handguns, one shotgun and almost 400 grams of MDPV.

Ellis faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both for the drug violations, and a mandatory minimum of five years and up to life in prison with a $250,000 fine for the firearms count. Ellis will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

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