U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Vermont
United States Courthouse and Federal Building
Post Office Box 10
Rutland, Vermont 05702–0010
Fax: (802) 773-0214
For Immediate Release
June 16, 2009
Paul J. Van de Graaf, Acting United States Attorney
Nine Arrested for Firearm or Drug Crimes
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont and the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) stated that today during an enforcement action led by ATF, nine persons were arrested for firearm or drug crimes and presented for their initial appearances in United States District Court in Rutland. Defendants were each charged with a single count contained in individual complaints filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in United States District Court on June 8 and 9, 2009. As noted below, United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released three defendants on conditions and temporarily detained six defendants pending hearings later this week on the government’s motions for detention.
Assisting ATF during the investigation and the operation were the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Marshal’s Service (USMS), Vermont State Police and its drug task force (VSP), Rutland City Police Department (RCPD), Brandon Police Department (BPD), and Rutland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD). In addition to the making the arrests, ATF and assisting agencies simultaneously executed multiple search warrants in Rutland County, Addison County, and Fulton County, New York, at approximately 6:00 a.m. today. Collectively, the participating law enforcement agencies allocated more than 230 agents and officers to the operation.
The following persons were charged with possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1):
- Gregory Flake, 32, of Rutland, in Rutland County on December 1, 2008 (temporarily detained); and
- Graytz Morrison, 24, of West Rutland, in Rutland County, on March 16, 2009 (temporarily detained).
The following persons were charged with distribution of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C):
- John Orlando Brooker, Jr., 24, of Rutland, in Rutland County on February 20, 2009 (temporarily detained);
- Shawn A. Francis, 27, of Middlebury, in Rutland County on December 11, 2008 (released);
- Zachary Adam Grant, 23, of Rutland, in Rutland County on May 6, 2009 (temporarily detained);
- Donald Christopher Perkins, 21, of Rutland, in Rutland County on January 23, 2009 (released);
- Michael Robert Ross, Jr., 24, of Rutland, in Rutland County on February 20, 2009 (temporarily detained); and
- Jeremy D. Zullo, 20, of Pittsford, in Rutland County on April 2, 2009 (temporarily detained).
In addition, Alan Horrick, 22, of Rutland, (released) was charged with distribution of hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance, in Rutland County on March 17, 2009, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D).
If convicted of the crimes charged in the criminal complaints, defendants charged with the firearm violation face a potential sentence of up to ten years in prison, those charged with distribution of cocaine face a potential sentence of up to twenty years in prison, and the defendant charged with distribution of hydrocodone faces a potential sentence of up to five years in prison. Any actual sentences will be determined by the sentencing court in accordance with the advisory federal sentencing guidelines and federal law. Acting United States Attorney Paul J. Van de Graaf cautioned that a criminal complaint is only a method of bringing charges and is not proof of guilt. He noted that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
Acting U.S. Attorney Van de Graaf commended the investigation and operation by ATF and the assistance provided by DEA, USMS, VSP, RCPD, BPD, and RCSD. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig S. Nolan and Timothy C. Doherty, Jr., of the U.S. Attorney’s Rutland Branch Office. “Guns and drugs plague big cities and small towns,” stated Andy Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF. “We will continue to focus our investigative efforts in rural America. Today’s actions here in Rutland, Vermont, should send a strong message that ATF remains committed to reducing violent crime, protecting the public, and keeping all Americans safe.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Van de Graaf noted also that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood, a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF, Project Safe Neighborhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who violate federal gun laws. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhood and Project Safe Vermont, please visit: www.psn.gov.