James Cunningham

James Cunningham (Courtesy photo)

LACONIA — A Laconia man has begun serving a 39-month prison term for drug trafficking after being sentenced in U.S. District Court in Concord.

James Cunningham, 61, who federal authorities said was a member of the Hells Angles, was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in January to four counts of distributing methamphetamine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Cunningham sold methamphetamine on four occasions in 2013 to someone cooperating with the FBI. Three of the drug transactions took place in Manchester and one occurred in Merrimack, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray.

Cunningham will be on supervised release for three years following his release from prison. He also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

“Drug trafficking crimes cause tremendous damage to our community,” said Murray. “In addition to the terrible problems of overdoses and addiction, drug trafficking often is associated with violence and can jeopardize the safety of the citizens living in the Granite State. We continue to work each day with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute drug traffickers so that we can decrease violence and improve the quality of life in New Hampshire.”

“Today, Mr. Cunningham, a member of the notorious Hells Angel biker gang, will begin paying the price for the irreparable harm that his drug trafficking caused within our communities,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division.

This case was investigated by the FBI New Hampshire Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which is comprised of the FBI, the New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire Probation and Parole, and the Police Departments of Hudson, Manchester, and Nashua. Assistance was provided by the Laconia Police Department.

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