Two Brooklyn Residents Charged in Heroin Conspiracy
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Jermaine McGriff, 19, and Denzel Thomas, 18, both of Brooklyn, New York, appeared today in United States District Court in Burlington on a charge that they conspired to distribute heroin. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released both defendants on conditions pending their next hearing in three weeks.
According to the criminal complaint, on the evening of March 18, 2013, a cooperating witness made a controlled purchase of heroin from Thomas at a residence in Richmond, Vermont. After the controlled purchase, a Vermont state judge issued a warrant to search the home in Richmond. When the warrant was executed early this morning, federal agents and local police officers recovered about 850 bags of heroin and more than $3000 from a room in which Thomas had been sleeping. Occupants of the home told officers that Thomas, McGriff and a third individual had been coming to Vermont about twice a month for the previous five to six months to distribute heroin here.
The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charge in the complaint is merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
This case was investigated by the Burlington Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Winooski Police Department.
McGriff is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Steve Barth and Thomas by Mark Kaplan. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.