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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Vermont

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 12, 2017
Eugenia A.P. Cowles
, United States Attorney

Richard Monroe Arrested in Connection with the Death of Kevin DeOliveira

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that, on June 12, 2017, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms arrested Richard Monroe, age 24, in the Western District of Texas. Monroe is charged in a multi-count Superseding Indictment with crimes relating to cocaine trafficking, robbery, and the murder of Kevin DeOliveira on January 2, 2015 at 58 Green Street, Burlington. At the time of his death, DeOliveira was 23 years old and enrolled at the University of Vermont. Monroe will have his initial appearance today at a federal court in El Paso, Texas. During that hearing, a United States Magistrate Judge is expected to decide whether Monroe will be released on conditions or detained pending trial. The Texas Judge may also decide to let Monroe have his detention hearing in the District of Vermont, in which case he would be transported here in the custody of the United States Marshals Service.

The Superseding Indictment charges Monroe with the following offenses: 1) conspiring with Zachary Hust and others to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine in Vermont from mid-2014 through January 2, 2015; 2) carrying firearms during, and in furtherance of, the cocaine conspiracy, and, in particular, discharging a handgun on January 2, 2015, resulting in the death of Kevin DeOliveira; 3) robbing two individuals at gunpoint for small amounts of marijuana and cash; and 4) carrying a firearm in connection with the marijuana robbery.

Hust, Monroe’s codefendant, is charged only with the cocaine conspiracy.

As reflected in the motion for Monroe’s pretrial detention filed in the Western District of Texas, the government’s evidence shows that, on January 2, 2015, Monroe shot and killed Kevin DeOliveira. Monroe shot DeOliveira with a .22 caliber handgun, at close range, in an execution-style killing. Numerous witnesses report that Monroe was trafficking in cocaine in and around the time of the shooting, and there is evidence that the motive for the shooting related to a cocaine debt. Additionally, Monroe confessed to murdering DeOliveira to a third-party witness. Investigators, moreover, have recovered the firearm used to commit the murder of DeOliveira. That firearm belonged to Monroe. Separate from the cocaine conspiracy, in November 2014, Monroe robbed two individuals at an apartment in Burlington at gunpoint. During the robbery, Monroe and an associate stole marijuana and cash. At the time of the offenses, Monroe was enrolled at Champlain College in Burlington.

If convicted of all charges, Monroe faces a mandatory minimum of 35 years, with a maximum sentence of life.

The arrest of Monroe was the culmination of a multi-agency investigation that began in early 2015. The collaborative effort was led by the Burlington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Assistant United States Attorneys Christina E. Nolan and Paul J. Van de Graaf are prosecuting the case.

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