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Press Release

Holyoke, Massachusetts Man Sentenced for Armed Drug Trafficking

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 Daeshawn Jones, 21, of Holyoke, Massachusetts was sentenced on July 12 in United States District Court to 47 months’ imprisonment.  Jones had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine.  United States District Judge Christina Reiss also ordered Jones to serve a three-year term of supervised release.  

According to court records and proceedings, Jones repeatedly traveled from Holyoke to Bennington County, Vermont in mid-2020 to sell drugs for personal financial gain.  Jones stayed at a residence in Manchester, Vermont and stored and distributed narcotics from there.  

Throughout this period, Jones also obtained and possessed firearms in connection with his drug trafficking activity.  To acquire firearms, he asked others to purchase firearms for him.  At Jones’s request, in May 2020, another man purchased two Glock handguns from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Belmont, Vermont and provided the guns to Jones.  Two days later, one of the firearms was recovered in Holyoke.  In June 2020, Jones asked the same man to purchase two additional handguns for him, but the purchase was denied by the firearms dealer.  When Jones was arrested on a federal warrant in January 2021, he possessed a rifle and heroin in his residence.

Several others connected to Jones’s criminal conduct have previously been convicted and sentenced.  On October 4, 2021, Caitlin Williams, 27, of Wallingford, Vermont, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine, was sentenced to time served, which was approximately ten months, by Judge William K. Sessions III.  On December 22, 2021, Leland Martin, 35, of Shrewsbury, Vermont, who had pleaded guilty to straw purchasing firearms, was sentenced to twelve months and one day of imprisonment by Chief United States District Judge Geoffrey Crawford.  On March 3, 2022, Alexander Johnson, 25, of Manchester, Vermont, who had pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine base, was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment by Judge Reiss.  Jones’s co-defendant, Thomas Rougier, Jr., has pleaded guilty before Judge Reiss to conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, and cocaine base and is detained pending sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the collaborative investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Vermont State Police, and appreciates the assistance of the Manchester Police Department, the Rutland Police Department, the Holyoke, Massachusetts Police Department, the Easthampton, Massachusetts Police Department, the Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

“We are working with law enforcement at all levels to remove dangerous, illegal guns and drugs from the street,” said U.S. Attorney Nikolas Kerest. “We will use every tool available to eradicate the drug-fueled violence affecting our community.”

“Combatting firearms trafficking is at the forefront of ATF’s mission,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Boston Field Division. “These sentencings should send the message to criminals that a blatant disregard of federal firearms laws will be investigated by ATF and our local, state, and federal partners.  Those who have willfully violated federal firearm laws will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

Jones was represented by Lisa Shelkrot, Esq. and William Vasiliou, Esq.  Martin was represented by Robert Katims, Esq.  Johnson was represented by Kevin Henry, Esq.  Williams was represented by Robert Behrens, Esq.  Rougier is represented by Stephanie Greenlees, Esq.  The prosecutors were Assistant United States Attorneys John J. Boscia and Nicole P. Cate.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.  Please visit for more information.

Updated July 14, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses