News and Press Releases

Island Pond Man Sentenced to 100 Months for Manufacturing Methamphetamine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2013

Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that yesterday, Carl Coker, 37, of Island Pond, was sentenced to 100 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 Coker serve four years supervised release after his incarceration ends.

According to court records, Coker was one of 13 Northeast Kingdom residents indicted by a federal grand jury for methamphetamine-related crimes. Coker began manufacturing methamphetamine in Vermont after his April 2011 move from Alabama, where he had been convicted for distribution of methamphetamine. In addition to producing the drug, Coker taught co-defendant Frank Santaw, 30, of Island Pond, to manufacture methamphetamine. Coker personally used the methamphetamine he produced and also provided it to approximately ten people who had obtained pseudoephedrine for him. Coker engaged in the manufacturing process numerous times, resulting in the production of approximately 37 grams of methamphetamine. Santaw produced another 30 grams. The Vermont Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Coker on November 18, 2011. He has been detained since his arrest.

Coker's twelve co-defendants have pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine-related charge:

Santaw, to a charge of conspiracy to manufacture five grams or more of methamphetamine, resulting in a sentence of 78 months imprisonment on November 5, 2012.

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);

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);

Cheryl Hackett, 45, of Oxford, Maine, to a misdemeanor charge of possession of methamphetamine, resulting in a sentence of 12 months probation on December 3, 2012.

Joshua Ovitt, 23, of Island Pond, to a misdemeanor charge of purchasing more than nine grams of pseudoephedrine during a 30-day period, resulting in a sentence of 12 months probation on November 28, 2012.

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 Mark Kaplan represented Coker. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan.

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."

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