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Press Release

Bennington County Pizza Restauranteur Arrested In Connection With October 2015 Seizure Of More Than 80 Pounds Of Heroin

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 Marco Antonio Lam Peralta, 42, of South Londonderry, Vermont was arrested yesterday based upon an arrest warrant issued by the United States District Court upon a Criminal Complaint charging Lam Peralta with conspiracy to distribute heroin, a schedule I controlled substance.

As explained in the Criminal Complaint, this case relates to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) early October 2015 seizure in Miami of a shipment from Guatemala containing more than 40 kilograms of heroin. The shipment was destined for an address in Manchester Center, Vermont. On October 8, 2015, police arrested Diego Mejia Paredes upon his taking delivery of that shipment. The Grand Jury subsequently returned a one count indictment against Mejia Paredes charging possession with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin in connection with the October 8, 2015 delivery. That prosecution is pending.

As explained in the Criminal Complaint against Lam Peralta, additional investigation by the HSI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Vermont State Police (“VSP”), and the United States Border Patrol (USBP) has revealed that Mejia Paredes was working with Lam Peralta in connection with the intercepted shipment, as well as previous shipments from Guatemala which law enforcement believes contained heroin.

United States Attorney Eric S. Miller observed that yesterday’s arrest was the result of extraordinary investigative coordination between DEA, HSI, VSP, and USBP. “The arrest of Mr. Lam Peralta is the result of extraordinary effort by, and cooperation among, DEA, HSI, VSP, and USBP. I am once again pleased to see our federal and State partners working so closely together to stem the flow of heroin into Vermont.”

"As heroin use continues to plague our communities, our collaborative efforts with law enforcement partners serve as a great way to fight back to stem the tide of this dangerous and deadly epidemic," said Matt Etre, special agent in charge of HSI New England. "HSI and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners are committed to putting an end to this growing scourge."

The United States Attorney emphasizes that all persons charged with crimes, including Lam Peralta, are presumed innocent unless and until they are convicted at trial or pursuant to a guilty plea.

Lam Peralta made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy this afternoon. He was ordered held in the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service pending a detention hearing, which is scheduled for Monday, March 28, at 1:30pm.

Lam Peralta is represented by Craig Nolan, Esq., of Burlington. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Drescher is the prosecutor.

Updated March 23, 2016