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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Massachusetts Man Sentenced to 85 Months in Prison Following Jury’s Conviction For Drug-Related Offenses

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on November 27, 2018, United States District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced John Jones, a.k.a. “Champ,” of Springfield, Massachusetts, following his conviction at trial of conspiracy to distribute heroin and 28 grams or more of cocaine base; distribution of heroin; and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base.  Judge Reiss sentenced Jones to 85 months in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release.

The evidence presented at trial revealed that from early 2015 through July 13, 2015, Jones conspired with Childlove Gelin, a.k.a. “Rome” and “Haiti,” and others, to distribute large quantities of heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine in southern Vermont.  On July 7, 2015, an informant working with the Vermont Drug Task Force purchased heroin from Jones.  On July 13, 2015, after selling cocaine base to another informant, Jones and Gelin led police on a prolonged, 130-mile-per hour car chase on Interstate 91.  During the course of their flight, $6,700 of cocaine base was thrown from the fleeing vehicle.  Jones and Gelin were ultimately apprehended in Massachusetts.  The trial evidence also detailed Jones’ manufacture of cocaine base and his sexual exploitation of addicts.

Jones was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months for his crimes.  In imposing the 85-month sentence, Judge Reiss considered the defendant’s significant criminal history, which included convictions for shooting another individual in the chest at point-blank range, and three separate convictions for domestic assault and battery, one of which was an aggravated offense in which Jones struck and strangled the pregnant mother of his children.  The sentence also was based on the defendant’s intimidation of a witness.

United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the efforts of the Vermont State Police, the Massachusetts State Police, the Brattleboro Police Department, the Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department, and the United States Department of Homeland Security for their work on this investigation.

The case was tried by U.S. Attorney Nolan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nate Burris.  Jones was represented by Attorney Richard Bothfeld.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated November 28, 2018