Two New York Men Indicted for Conspiracy To Distribute Crack and Heroin in Rutland
Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that yesterday Tiante Branch, 32, and Quincy Collins, 32, both of Troy, New York, were arraigned in United States District Court on an indictment charging that they conspired to distribute crack cocaine and heroin in Rutland during February 12-13, 2012. United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered Collins detained pending trial and continued Branch's detention hearing to March 8.
According to court records, troopers from the Vermont State Police Rutland Barracks used a confidential informant to make a controlled purchase of crack from Branch during the evening of February 12. Troopers then obtained and executed shortly after midnight on February 13 a state search warrant for a hotel room occupied by Collins, Branch, and a third person. During the search troopers seized crack, powder cocaine, heroin, several thousand dollars in cash, scales, and a loaded and chambered pistol. Arrested that morning, Branch and Collins were charged in Vermont Superior Court with drug crimes, which were dismissed after a federal grand jury sitting in Rutland indicted Branch and Collins on February 22.
United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin emphasizes that the charge contained in the indictment is merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Branch and Collins face a maximum possible term of imprisonment of twenty years. Any actual sentence will be determined by the Court with reference to the statutory sentencing factors and the advisory sentencing guidelines.
United States Attorney Coffin commended the investigation by the Vermont State Police Rutland Barracks and thanked Rutland County State's Attorney Marc Brierre for his assistance and cooperation. Burlington attorney Ernest Allen III represents Branch. Assistant Federal Public Defender Barclay Johnson represents Collins. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan of the Rutland Branch of the United States Attorney's Office.