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Press Release

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 54 Months Imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Crack Cocaine in Rutland County

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

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated today that Richard Torruellas (a.k.a. “Scoob”), 23, of Jersey City, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 54 months imprisonment by United States District Court Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford sitting in U.S. District Court in Rutland, Vermont. Chief Judge Crawford also sentenced Torruellas to a three-year period of supervised release by the U.S. Probation Office, which will begin when Torruellas is released from prison. Finally, the Court ordered the forfeiture of $3,349 of drug proceeds seized from Torruellas at the time of his arrest. Torruellas previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine base and agreed to a 54-month sentence. The maximum sentence for this crime is 20 years imprisonment.

According to court records, Torruellas distributed a significant amount of heroin and crack cocaine in Rutland County from October 2016 to March 16, 2017, when he was arrested. Torruellas distributed these drugs with codefendant Francesco Escribano (a.k.a. “Brisco”), 35, also from New Jersey. Torruellas and Escribano were known in Rutland County drug circles as the “Jersey Boys.” Escribano also pled guilty to the conspiracy but has not yet been sentenced.

According to the government, Torruellas and Escribano dealt some of their drugs while staying with codefendant Wayne Oddo who lived at Morse Hollow Road in Poultney. In exchange for Oddo letting them stay there, Torruellas and Escribano would give Oddo small, personal use amounts of drugs. When Oddo was arrested on March 15, 2017, he admitted that he moved the body of Alexandra Rooker, 26, who had overdosed a week earlier, to his shed and had not called anyone about her death.

According to the government, Torruellas and Escribano also periodically used the residence of Richard Webster on Harrison Avenue in West Rutland as a base station from which to deal heroin and cocaine base. Both Oddo and Webster previously pled guilty to violating the federal law, commonly referred to as the “crack-house statute,” which prohibits making available a place, such as a residence, for the purpose of manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using any controlled substance. This statute imposes a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment, up to a $500,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release to begin after any term of imprisonment is served. Oddo and Webster are awaiting sentencing. Webster is participating in the Federal Drug Court program in Rutland.

These cases were investigated by the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force, the Rutland City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella is prosecuting these cases on behalf of the United States. Richard Torruellas is represented by Robert Behrens, Esq. of Burlington. Wayne Oddo is represented by Steven Barth, Esq., of the Federal Public Defenders Office. Richard Webster is represented by David Williams, Esq. of Burlington.

Updated May 17, 2018

Drug Trafficking