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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brooklyn New York Man Sentenced to Ten Years Imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Crack Cocaine in Rutland Area

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Joel Joyce (a.k.a. “Prince”), 27, of Brooklyn, New York was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Geoffrey Crawford for his role as a leader in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine base and heroin in Rutland County.

On December 23, 2016, after a one-week trial, a federal jury convicted Joyce of conspiracy to distribute heroin and 28 grams or more of cocaine base in the Rutland area. The minimum term of imprisonment for this offense is five years and the maximum term of imprisonment is 40 years. Judge Crawford imposed a 10-year term of imprisonment, and sentenced Joyce to a mandatory four-year term of supervised release, which will begin after Joyce serves the prison term.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Joyce used co-conspirators from Brooklyn, New York to bring heroin and crack cocaine from Brooklyn to the Rutland, Vermont area by bus and other means. Joyce then used drug addicts in the Rutland area to distribute the drugs and collect his money. The government presented evidence that Joyce and his coconspirators from New York would often stay at the homes of addicts in Rutland and West Rutland, and used these homes as a base of operations in which to operate Joyce’s drug trafficking enterprise. Joyce paid the addict hosts heroin and crack cocaine for assisting him. One female witness testified at trial that Joyce would “sit around” her State Street, Rutland apartment and “smoke weed while I went and did [drug] deals for him.” The government also presented evidence at trial showing that Joyce made tens of thousands of dollars selling drugs in the Rutland area. Joyce often managed the drug trafficking operation in Rutland by cell phone while he was in Brooklyn, New York.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joe Perella and Jon Ophardt. The defendant is represented by David Williams, Esq. of Burlington.

Drug Trafficking
Updated June 15, 2017