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Press Release

Melvin Hill Sentenced on Federal Drug And Firearms Charges

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

Rutland, Vermont – The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Melvin Hill, 45, who formerly lived in Tignall, Georgia, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Rutland following his trial conviction on five drug and gun charges. Chief U.S. District Judge Geoffrey Crawford sentenced Hill to 180 months of imprisonment, to be followed by a ten-year term of supervised release. Hill has been held without bail since his arrest in March 2022.

According to court records, in January 2022, a confidential source told Burlington narcotics investigators that they could buy narcotics from Hill. In February and March, this source made two controlled purchases of fentanyl from Hill in transactions that were recorded and surveilled by police officers. Officers learned that Hill was staying at a hotel in South Burlington. They obtained a state-court warrant to search Hill’s hotel room and the car he had been driving. Officers arrested Hill on March 10 and recovered a loaded pistol and crack cocaine from his person. In his car and hotel room, officers seized hundreds of folds of fentanyl, hundreds of pills containing methamphetamine, and powder cocaine. They also found narcotics paraphernalia and approximately $13,000 in cash.

The following day, March 11, state and federal agents searched a storage unit that Hill had rented in Burlington, Vermont. Inside, authorities found additional fentanyl, a second pistol and approximately one pound of pure methamphetamine.

In March 2022, the United States Attorney’s office adopted Hill’s case for federal prosecution. The U.S. Attorney’s Office had successfully prosecuted Hill in an unrelated drug case in 2012.

In July 2022, a federal grand jury in Burlington charged Hill, in a superseding indictment, with two counts of distributing fentanyl to the confidential source; possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base and large quantities of methamphetamine, and two counts of possessing firearms as a convicted felon. Hill is barred from possessing any firearms because he has several felony convictions in federal court and his native Georgia. A jury convicted Hill on all charges last summer.

This case was investigated by the Burlington Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisting with firearms evidence.

At sentencing, Hill was represented by Karen Shingler, Esq. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Waples and Zachary Stendig.


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Updated July 10, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses