ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Vermont

www.justice.gov/usao/vt

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2013

United States Attorney

Contact: Public Information Officer
(802) 773-0231

Chandara Sam Arrested for Distribution of Heroin

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Chandara Sam, 30, of Lowell, Massachusetts was arrested yesterday in White River Junction on a charge of distribution of heroin. Court records show that Sam, who goes by the alias Po, was taken into custody after selling approximately 45 grams of heroin to an individual cooperating with law enforcement. The transaction took place in the parking lot of the McDonald’s in White River Junction. Sam’s initial appearance in federal court is expected to occur in the coming days.

Court records further show that Sam is a member of a larger group that has been distributing an especially strong form of heroin in the Burlington area since 2011. This heroin is known as Chi town or Chi, short for Chicago, and has caused several overdoses in the last several years. The Vermont State Police Drug Task Force began an investigation into Sam’s heroin ring in December 2011. Sam has been traveling to Vermont to distribute heroin since at least May of 2012.

Last January, members of the Essex Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested two individuals, Edward Chavin, also known as Tommy, and Christopher Nason in the Handy’s Suites in Essex. Chavin was found to possess about 112 grams of heroin. He and Nason were subsequently indicted for conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. The Handy’s Suites raid occurred following a heroin overdose in a nearby room. Investigation revealed that Chavin, Nason, and Sam are part of the same heroin ring, and that Chavin had been transporting heroin from Chicago to the Burlington area for at least six months prior to his arrest.

Following Sam’s arrest, law enforcement in Lowell, Massachusetts executed a search warrant at his residence. They recovered another 30 grams of heroin, bullets, $40,000–$50,000 cash, part of a .45 caliber hand gun, and two digital scales.

The charge against Sam is an accusation only. He is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of distribution of heroin, Sam faces up to 20 years in prison. The actual sentence, in the event of conviction, will be determined by the Court with reference to the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The investigation was a collaborative effort of the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Essex, Burlington, and Hartford, Vermont Police Departments.

Assistant United States Attorney Christina Nolan is handling the prosecution. Sam is represented by Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels.

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