The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on September 19, 2013, a federal jury sitting in Brattleboro returned guilty verdicts against James Collins, 33, of Hudson, New York, on charges of distribution of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The verdict came on the third day of the trial.
According to court records, Collins distributed crack cocaine in Rutland on four occasions in the summer of 2012. At the end of the summer, he traveled to Ludlow to with crack cocaine he intended to sell. During a traffic stop of his vehicle en route to Ludlow, law enforcement seized the crack cocaine and a loaded semi-automatic handgun from his person.
Collins faces imprisonment for a term of up to 20 years on each of the drug charges. The firearm charge is punishable by a consecutive term of not less than 5 years and not more than life.
United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin commended the joint investigation by the Vermont Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Collins was represented by Barre attorney David Kidney. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christina Nolan.
U.S. Attorney Coffin noted also that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood, a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF, Project Safe Neighborhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who violate federal gun laws. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhood and Project Safe Vermont, please visit: www.psn.gov.