DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Vermont

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Eugenia Cowles
, United States Attorney
Contact: PIO Assigned to the Case

James Nastri Sentenced to 210 Months Imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on January 30, 2015, James Nastri, 34, of Deep River, Connecticut, was sentenced to 210 months in prison, having been convicted of conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin. On June 2, 2014, following a five-day trial before United States District Judge William K. Sessions III, a Burlington jury convicted Nastri of that offense. At sentencing, Judge Sessions also gave Nastri 8 years of supervised release.

Court records show that Nastri headed a conspiracy that sold large volumes of heroin and other drugs in the Burlington area and in Bangor, Maine in 2011 and 2012. A Burlington grand jury indicted Nastri in April 2013. He has been in custody since indictment. Court records further show that Nastri=s group distributed an especially strong form of heroin in Burlington, known as "Chi town" or "Chi," short for Chicago, which has caused several overdoses in the last several years. The Vermont State Police Drug Task Force began an investigation into Nastri's heroin ring in December 2011.

On March 14, 2012, a Vermont State Police trooper stopped Nastri's vehicle and seized about $17,000 in drug proceeds. Following that seizure, Nastri transferred his drug business entirely to Maine, and continued to sell opiates there until August of 2012, when two of his workers were murdered by rival drug dealers, Nicholas Sexton and Randall Daluz. Last year, a Bangor, Maine jury convicted Daluz and Sexton of murder.

For his crime, Nastri faced a maximum penalty of life in prison with a ten-year-mandatory minimum. At sentencing, Judge Sessions remarked Nastri's drug conspiracy was one of the most serious he had ever seen. He further noted that Nastri financed and managed a sophisticated multi-state drug operation. Judge Sessions also cited Nastri's significant criminal history. Nastri led the conspiracy while on supervised release for a 2006 federal conviction for importation of marijuana. Nastri is expected to be sentenced in the near future in federal court in Connecticut for the supervised release violation.

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; the Essex, South Burlington, and Burlington, Vermont Police Departments; and the Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Christina Nolan and Timothy Doherty prosecuted the case. Nastri is represented by Edgar L. Fankbonner, Esq., of New York City.

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Field Division: Boston Field Division