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Press Release

Manchester Pizza Shop Owner Sentenced to 10 Years for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Marco Antonio Lam Peralta (also known as Tony Lam), 45, of South Londonderry, Vermont, was sentenced Tuesday to ten years of imprisonment following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin.  The sentencing followed Lam's guilty plea, as well as his unsuccessful effort to withdraw from his guilty plea.  United States District Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered that Lam serve five years of supervised release following the completion of his prison sentence.  Lam has been in the custody of the United States Marshals Service since his March 2016 arrest. 

Court records indicate that during the summer and fall of 2015 Lam conspired with his co-defendant Diego Mejia Paredes to ship large quantities of heroin from Guatemala, hidden in Guatemalan food supplement packaging, to various addresses in Southeastern, Vermont.  In early October 2015 customs officials discovered more than 41 kilograms of heroin in one such shipment, addressed to a restaurant in Manchester Center, Vermont.  Mejia arrived at the restaurant to take delivery of the shipment.  While waiting for the heroin to arrive, Mejia spoke with Lam over the phone, and Lam called DHL, the shipping company used by the conspiracy to import the heroin.

Additional investigation led agents to conclude that this was the conspiracy's eighth shipment into Vermont in 2015.   The previous shipments were sent to locations associated with Lam, including his pizza shop, Tony's New York Style Pizzeria in Bondville, as well as Lam's previous residence in Manchester, Vermont.  Evidence also showed that Lam directed Mejia as to where to address several of these shipments, and Mejia directed Lam with regard to other aspects of the conspiracy.

Lam is a citizen of Guatemala.  Court records reflect that he is likely to be removed from the United States following his prison sentence.  In December 2017 Judge Sessions sentenced Lam's co-defendant Mejia Paredes to a 180 month term of imprisonment.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Vermont State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, with assistance from the Manchester, Vermont, Police Department. 

Lam is represented by Mark Kaplan.  The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Michael Drescher.

Updated October 26, 2018

Drug Trafficking