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Press Release

Barre Man Pending Sentencing On Federal Gun Charges Arrested For Trading Heroin For A Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Eric Goldstein-Purdue, 26, of Barre, VT made his initial appearance on January 8, 2018 in the United States District Court in Burlington, following an arrest for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. At the time of his arrest, Goldstein-Purdue was awaiting sentencing in U.S. District Court on charges that he possessed a firearm as a convicted felon. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy detained Goldstein-Purdue pending trial.

According to court documents, in November 2017, Goldstein-Purdue pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Goldstein-Purdue was released pending sentencing which was scheduled for March 2018. In January 2018, while on conditions of release, Goldstein-Purdue began communicating with someone who was working as an undercover law enforcement agent with ATF. Goldstein-Purdue and the undercover agent discussed Goldstein-Purdue’s desire to obtain a firearm and Goldstein-Purdue said he could provide the agent heroin in exchange for the firearm. On January 5, 2018, Goldstein-Purdue met with the undercover agent, gave the agent approximately 40 bags of heroin and the officer gave Goldstein-Purdue a firearm. Immediately after the exchange, ATF agents arrested Goldstein-Purdue and recovered the firearm.

The United States Attorney, Christina E. Nolan, emphasized that the charge against Goldstein-Purdue is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

If convicted, the defendant faces a sentence of not less than five years of imprisonment and up to life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

U.S. Attorney Nolan commended the joint effort of state and federal law enforcement, adding “we will continue to make it a top priority to prosecute violent offenders and those who use guns in connection with drug trafficking, especially, as in this case, when such conduct is combined with troubling recidivism.”

Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Division Mickey Leadingham stated: “This arrest demonstrates the outstanding partnership between ATF, Vermont State Police, Vermont State Drug Task Force and the United States Marshals Service, as well as the commitment we share to work together to interdict illegal firearms & narcotics and the violent criminals that compromise the safety of our communities.”

Goldstein-Purdue is represented by the Elizabeth Quinn of the Federal Public Defender’s office. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy G. Fuller.

Updated January 11, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses