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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 13, 2019

Vermont Man Sentenced to 48 Months for Drug and Firearm Charges

            CONCORD – United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced that Nicholas J. Patten, 27, of Williston, Vermont was sentenced to 48 months in prison for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 11, 2018, a New London police officer stopped to assist a motorist and observed the defendant slumped down in the driver’s seat.  The officer also observed several needles, three rubber tourniquets, a syringe, and white powder on the defendant’s jeans and on the center console of the vehicle.  The defendant woke up and began to thrash about the vehicle screaming things like “Help,” “I’m drowning,” and “I’m trapped.”  The defendant later admitted that he used cocaine and stated that he did not know what he was on.  The police later executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found approximately 191.8 grams of cocaine.  The police also found $4420 in cash and a loaded Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter pistol, as well as fentanyl, oxycodone, and other smaller amounts of cocaine within the vehicle.    

            Patten previously pleaded on January 29, 2019.

            “Drugs and guns are a potentially deadly combination,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Armed drug traffickers present a heightened risk to the public.  Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, we are working to ensure that criminals who possess guns are prosecuted and incarcerated.”

            The matter was investigated by the New London Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.   Assistant United States Attorney Debra M. Walsh prosecuted the case.

            The case is part of ATF’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is a federally-funded program intended to reduce gun violence through law enforcement training, public education, and aggressive law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute gun-related crimes.  

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-068
Updated May 13, 2019