OSSIPEE — A Bartlett man who was a major drug dealer in the valley in 2016 was sentenced to 14-28 years in prison Thursday in Carroll County Superior Court. In court, he expressed remorse for his actions and said he hopes others can learn from his mistakes.
Jonathan Folds, 30, pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a controlled drug, subsequent offense; one count of possession of a controlled drug with the intent to sell, subsequent offense; one count of falsifying physical evidence; and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
The crimes occurred in September and October of 2016 at his Bartlett home.
Judge Amy Ignatius sentenced Folds, giving him less time than the Attorney General’s Office wanted (15-30 years) but more than his public defender Caroline Smith suggested (13-26 years). He may have a year taken off his sentence if he has clean urine screens in prison.
Folds has over 900 days of pretrial confinement credit.
Part of the reason his case took so long to adjudicate is that the Attorney General’s Office has appealed some of Ignatius’ orders to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Danielle Sakowski told the judge: “Ultimately, your honor, the defendant was routinely traveling significant quantities from Massachusetts, to Carroll County, on a weekly basis, trafficking in hundreds of grams of heroin.”
She said Folds wasn’t someone who sold drugs simply to feed his own habit. “This is somebody who is picking up hundreds of grams per week, who is selling large quantities of what he takes out to other individuals and is selling in such a quantity that there really can’t be any doubt that the person he is selling to is going to sell themselves to perpetuate this opioid problem within Carroll County and within the state,” she said.
Sakowski briefly outlined the case against Folds. She said it began in September of 2016 when a confidential informant working with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force went to Folds’ home to purchase 50 grams of heroin for $2,000. The informant made a second similar purchase in October.
Then on Oct. 11, 2016, Drug Task Force agents, along with Bartlett police, Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant. Officers seized $15,000 in cash, marijuana, 265 grams of heroin and a loaded handgun.
At the residence during the raid was Folds’ girlfriend, Megan Feron, who in 2018 was sentenced to serve 10-20 years at the New Hampshire State Prison on drug sales convictions.
Folds pleaded guilty to falsifying physical evidence for trying to hide drugs and $4,000. The money and drugs were on a bed next to Feron. Folds tried to hide them with a blanket when he heard a knock at the door, apparently assuming his probation officer was coming.
Sawdowski said Folds tried to lie to investigators saying he didn’t know about the gun but later admitted it. In a recorded jail call with his father, Folds said he purchased it for protection months prior to the raid.
Smith replied that Folds apparently forgot about the gun and that’s likely to be true since it was found in a box of holiday decorations. She said in any case, Folds eventually admitted to investigators that he had it.
Ignatius was incredulous.
“’Oops, I wrapped up my gun when I was putting away the Christmas balls’ — is that you’re arguing?” said Ignatius. “I don’t find that to be particularly credible, but that’s alright, I guess were not here to try the circumstances of that.”
Smith and Folds explained how Folds has become a new person who is sober and willing to take personal responsibility.
Smith that Folds’ mother, who is now in addiction recovery, left him as a child and he developed a sense of “abandonment.” However, they reconciled while he was incarcerated. Members of his family appeared by video conference.
Folds made a lengthy address to the court. First he spoke of his family.
“There’s been many times my family’s had to push me away,” said Folds. “Today I know how grateful I am still to have the love and support.”
He then spoke of his efforts to be accountable.
“I brought poison into my community,” said Folds. “I take responsibility for that. And for a long time, I couldn’t do nothing but blame somebody else for my actions.”
Folds said he will use his prison time to rehabilitate and educate himself. He also expressed a desire for people to learn from his story.
“I really want to see this outcome have a bigger impact,” said Folds. “I want this to reach the family that has somebody suffering, like my family, or friends that they’ve seen go through this. And I want this to impact them. So they can possibly learn how they can help in the future.”
Ignatius noted that Folds has had a long history in her courtroom and alluded to mistakes he made in a probation program. But this time she felt Folds was being “genuine.”
“The cocky young man who was there is not the person here today,” said Ignatius. “I recognize that.”