FIVE RUTLAND RESIDENTS INDICTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that yesterday five residents of the City of Rutland were arrested during an early morning federal-state-local operation and presented in United States District Court for arraignment on indictments charging violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The five defendants and their respective charges are:
• Ernest Murray, 51, Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Cocaine, and 28 Grams or more of Crack Cocaine; and Distribution of Crack Cocaine (three counts);
• Eric Dixon, 44, Distribution of Crack Cocaine and/or Heroin (four counts);
• Terrence Chenault, 30, Distribution of Crack Cocaine and/or Heroin (three counts);
• Andrew Harris, 24, Distribution of Heroin (one count); and
• Morgaine Chuderski, 25, Distribution of Crack Cocaine (two counts).
All five defendants entered pleas of not guilty.
The government moved to detain each of the five pending trial. United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered Chenault detained pending trial, and scheduled detention hearings next week with respect to the other four defendants.
United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin emphasizes that the charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. If convicted, Murray faces imprisonment for a term between five and forty years on the conspiracy charge, and all defendants face up to twenty years on each of the distribution charges. Any actual sentences in the event of conviction will be determined pursuant to the advisory federal sentencing guidelines and the federal statutory sentencing factors.
United States Attorney Coffin commended the collaborative investigation led by the Vermont Drug Task Force with assistance from the Rutland City Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Perella and Craig Nolan.