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Burlington Man to Serve Fourteen Years in Prison for Cocaine Conspiracy and Money Laundering

DEC 18 (BURLINGTON, Vt.) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and the United States Attorney's Office  for the District of Vermont announced that on Monday, December 16, 2013, Ramell Holder, 36, of Burlington, Vermont, was sentenced to 168 months, or fourteen years, in prison by the Honorable William K. Sessions III.

Holder had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and money laundering. Holder also agreed to forfeit to the government approximately $24,000, a 2004 Land Rover, and a parcel of land in Richford, Vermont.

According to court documents, Holder's involvement in cocaine started in 1998 and in 2004, when he was involved with distributing drugs with his uncles, Clayton and Edward Sinclair. Clayton and Edward Sinclair were later convicted on federal drug conspiracy charges and sentenced to 151 months in prison. By 2010, the DEA had officially opened a case against Holder for his involvement in cocaine distribution. From November 2011 to February 2012, the DEA, using a confidential source, purchased 442.3 grams of cocaine from Holder at his residence on Calarco Court in Burlington. The DEA investigation later revealed that Holder had trafficked between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine to Vermont between 2007 to 2012. Holder also used violence during the offense in a dispute with one of his drug distributors over payment for cocaine.

The grand jury in Burlington returned an indictment against Holder and others in November 2012. Holder was initially released on personal recognizance but later detained after allegations surfaced that he committed fraud against the Home Depot while on release. At sentencing, Holder's Guidelines were 262-327 months. The government asked the Court for a 20 year sentence and the Court imposed a sentence of 168 months (14 years). One important factor in the Court's sentencing decision was that Holder had never served any time in jail before the instant offense.

The case was investigated by the DEA, HSI, Border Patrol, U.S. Marshals Service, the Vermont State Police, Burlington PD, South Burlington PD, Colchester PD, Essex PD, Milton PD and the DEA Financial Investigations Team.


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