DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Vermont

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 10, 2017
Eugenia A.P. Cowles, Acting
, United States Attorney

Bronx Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Discharging Firearm and Drug Trafficking in Barre, Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Maxwell Suero, 25, of Bronx, New York, was sentenced today for discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and conspiring to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base. District Judge William K. Sessions sentenced Suero to a 60-month term of incarceration for conspiracy to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base, and a consecutive 120-month term of incarceration for discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, resulting in a total sentence of 180 months.

According to Court records, in the summer of 2014, Suero was importing cocaine base to Barre, Vermont for distribution from the residence of co-defendant Melissa Garr. Suero provided cocaine base to Garr in exchange for allowing Suero and his associates to distribute drugs from her residence. Suero also recruited his co-defendant, Khari Long, to travel from New York to Vermont for the sole purpose of dealing cocaine base to Vermonters.

On September 22, 2014, Suero and Long entered Garr’s residence in Barre with the intent of confronting Garr and two other drug dealers who had begun dealing controlled substances from Garr’s residence. Suero and Long were both armed with firearms when they entered Garr’s residence through a basement door. The confrontation resulted in a shoot-out between Suero and one of the newly arrived drug dealers. Suero sustained a gunshot wound to his hand, while the other man sustained a gunshot wound to his left shoulder. Suero and Long retreated back through the basement, and upon exiting the residence, Suero left a smear of his blood on the basement doorknob.

After a brief hiatus, Suero returned to Garr’s residence, and again began distributing cocaine base. On February 6, 2015, Barre City Police Officers, Vermont State Police Troopers, and United States Marshal Deputies executed an arrest warrant for Suero at Garr’s residence. While attempting to hide, Suero threw a loaded .45 caliber revolver, and dropped 6.5 grams of cocaine base. Suero was eventually located in a basement crawl space. Approximately 150 grams of powder cocaine were located in the ceiling tiles of one of Garr’s bedrooms.

As part of his plea agreement, Suero admitted to conspiring to distribute more than 2.8 kilograms of cocaine base from 2011 to February 2015, to discharging a firearm during the September 22, 2014 confrontation at Garr’s residence, and to acting as a lookout in an armed robbery of a restaurant in the Bronx on December 21, 2012.

Acting United States Attorney Eugenia A. P. Cowles commended the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Barre City Police Department; the Vermont State Police; and the United States Marshals Service in the arrest and prosecution of Suero.

Suero was represented by Chandler Matson, Esq. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt.

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Field Division: Boston Field Division