ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Connecticut

www.justice.gov/usao/ct

For Immediate Release

September 21, 2012

David B. Fein, United States Attorney

Contact: Tom Carson
(203)821-3722

Nine Indicted for Firearm and Drug Crimes in Rutland

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that the joint efforts of the ATF, the Vermont Drug Task Force (VDTF), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Rutland City Policy Department (RPD), the Rutland County Sheriff's Department (RSD), the Vermont State Police (VSP), and the United States Marshal's Service (USMS) have resulted in the indictment of following nine persons for firearm and drug crimes:

Amanda Buchanan, 24, of Rutland, for distribution of heroin on August 9, 2012, a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. On September 20, 2012, Buchanan was arrested and presented in United States District Court. She pled not guilty and was released on conditions.

Christopher Cioffi, 24, of Rutland, for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine during Fall 2011 to March 2012 and attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine on March 13, 2012, crimes punishable by imprisonment for a term between 5 and 40 years (conspiracy) and by imprisonment up to 20 years (possession). On September 20, 2012, Cioffi was arrested and presented in United States District Court. He pled not guilty and was released on conditions.

James M. Collins, 32, of Hudson, New York, for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime on August 29, 2012, crimes punishable by imprisonment up to 20 years (drug) and by imprisonment for a consecutive term between 5 years and life (firearm). Collins is currently detained by the State of Vermont and will be presented in United States District Court at a later date.

John Crawford, 33, of Rutland, for distribution of crack cocaine on May 15 and July 5, 2012, crimes punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. On September 20, 2012, Crawford was arrested. He was presented in United States District Court
on September 21, 2012. He pled not guilty and was detained pending trial.

Shaquan Flores, 25, of Rutland, for possession with intent to distribute heroin on July 2, 2012, a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. Flores is currently detained by the State of Vermont and will be presented in United States District Court at a later date.

Steven McAuley, 32, of Rutland, for possession of a firearm after felony conviction on March 20-22, 2012, a crime punishable by imprisonment up to 10 years. McAuley is currently detained by the State of Vermont and will be presented in United States District Court at a later date.

Darlene Palmer, 44, and Annette Rider, 44, both of Rutland, for conspiracy to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and crack cocaine, crimes punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. On September 20, 2012, Palmer and Rider were arrested. They are scheduled to be presented in United States District Court on September 21, 2012, at 3:30 p.m.

Luis Shannon, 36, of Rutland, for possession of a firearm after felony conviction on September 17, 2010, a crime punishable by imprisonment up to 10 years. On September 20, 2012, Shannon was arrested. He was presented in United States District Court on September 21, 2012. He pled not guilty. The hearing on the government's motion for detention was continued to Monday, September 24,
2012, at 2:00 p.m.

Any actual sentences will be determined by the sentencing court in accordance with the advisory federal sentencing guidelines and federal law. United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin cautioned that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven
guilty in court.

U.S. Attorney Coffin commended the collaborative investigations by ATF, VDTF, DEA, RPD, RCSD, VSP, and USMS, and thanked the Offices of the Rutland County's State's Attorney and the Vermont Attorney General for their assistance and cooperation. "Guns and drugs have plagued Rutland," stated U.S. Attorney Coffin, "We will continue to work closely with our local and state partners in Rutland, and across Vermont, to investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations that poison our communities with illegal drugs and threaten the public's safety by unlawfully possessing and carrying firearms." The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig Nolan of the U.S. Attorney's Rutland Branch Office, and Michael Drescher of the Burlington Office.

U.S. Attorney Coffin 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.

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