NOV 05 (BURLINGTON Vt.) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin announced that, Frank Santaw, 30, of Island Pond, was sentenced to 78 months imprisonment for conspiracy to manufacture five grams or more of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. United States District Judge William K. Sessions, III, also ordered that Santaw serve four years supervised release after his incarceration ends.
According to court records, Santaw was one of 13 Northeast Kingdom residents indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Burlington for methamphetamine-related crimes. Santaw began manufacturing methamphetamine in July 2011. Initially, he assisted co-defendant Carl Coker, 37, of Island Pond, in the manufacture. Santaw learned the manufacturing process from Coker and began manufacturing the drug on his own beginning in late September 2011. Santaw personally used the methamphetamine he produced and also provided it to approximately ten people who had obtained pseudoephedrine for him. Santaw engaged in the manufacturing process numerous times, resulting in the production of 35 to 50 grams of methamphetamine. The Vermont Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Santaw on December 15, 2011. He has been detained since his arrest.
On September 24, 2011, Coker entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to manufacture five grams or more of methamphetamine. He faces between five and 40 years imprisonment at his sentencing on January 28, 2013. Coker has been detained since his arrest on November 18, 2011. Nine other co-defendants have pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine-related charge and will be sentenced in early 2013:
Mandy Darlene Johnson, 31, and Kevin Dodge, 44, both of Island Pond, to a charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine (punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment);
Alicia Ovitt, 27, of Morgan, Honey Lee Lacourse, 33, of Troy, Roger Chaffee, 37,of North Troy, Richard Lavoie, 58, of Island Pond, Jaime Cross, 30, of Island Pond, and James Castrogiovanni, of Brighton, to a charge of conspiracy to possess or distribute pseudoephedrine, a List I chemical, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine (punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment); and
Charles Thomas Amerine III, 34, of Island Pond, to a charge of possession of any equipment, chemical, product, or material which may be used to manufacture a controlled substance, knowing, intending, or having reasonable cause to believe that it will be used to manufacture methamphetamine (punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment).
These crimes were investigated by the Vermont Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Vermont State Police Field Force Division, the United States Marshals Service and the Brighton Police Department provided assistance. Burlington attorney Richard Bothfeld represented Santaw.
United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin commended the law enforcement agencies for their investigation of this matter. He added, “Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and harmful drug. Illicit production of the drug involves highly dangerous processes and toxic waste that can cause severe injuries. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work closely with state and federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute the unlawful production and distribution of methamphetamine and the unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine for the purpose of making methamphetamine.”