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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Philadelphia Man Arrested For Crimes Related To Cambridge Homicide

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced today that Taylor Ruffin Herrington, a.k.a. “Tee,” 34, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was arrested today in Philadelphia by the FBI on an outstanding arrest warrant issued last week in the District of Vermont.  Herrington made his initial appearance today in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Strawbridge.  He was detained pending his transfer to Vermont.    

According to court documents, on March 3, 2020, at or about 2:50 a.m., Michael Haines and Amy Pudvah contacted the Vermont State Police, reporting that an individual known by the nickname “Tee” was attempting to enter their residence in Cambridge, Vermont. According to the callers, Tee was with a person named “Sam Simms,” in Simms’ truck. Tee left in the truck but then returned to the residence a short time later and asked Haines for his (Tee’s) duffle bag.  Haines threw the bag over the back deck.  A short time later, while Haines was on the phone with a Vermont State Police trooper, Haines told the trooper he had been shot.  Pudvah was in the residence with Haines and, after Haines was shot, she ran upstairs to her two juvenile children who were also in the residence.  Tee was later identified as Taylor Ruffin Herrington.

Investigation in the case further revealed that Pudvah had picked up Herrington in Burlington on March 2 at Haines’s request.  Herrington got in the car and put a duffle bag in the trunk.  Pudvah brought Herrington back to the Cambridge residence where Haines and Herrington hung out together.  Haines and Herrington eventually left Cambridge and went back to Burlington. Haines then suddenly left Burlington, without Herrington, and returned home.  Around this same time, Haines went to a friend’s house, again without Herrington, and showed the friend a large amount of heroin in a ziplock baggie. After Haines was killed, investigators searched Haines’s residence and found a large amount of heroin in a ziplock bag hidden inside the residence.     

On March 12, 2020, the grand jury sitting in Burlington returned an indictment charging Herrington with carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), and conspiracy to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846.  If convicted of the firearm charge, Herrington faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine.  For the drug charge, Herrington faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and up to a $500,000 fine.  The actual sentence, however, would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

United States Attorney Christina Nolan commended the collaborative investigation of federal, state, and local law enforcement.  She specifically thanked the Vermont State Police, the FBI in Vermont and Philadelphia, and the Lamoille County State’s Attorney’s Office.  She stated:  “Thanks to the tremendous teamwork of Vermont and Philadelphia law enforcement, this crime was efficiently investigated and the suspect swiftly identified and apprehended.  We will be unflagging in our efforts to protect Vermonters, fight for the rights of victims, and promote public safety.  We will continue to prioritize prevention and punishment of violent crime, and those who engage in crimes like this will find themselves facing severe penalties.”

“When crimes occur, the Vermont State Police works diligently to identify offenders, apprehend them and bring them to court to answer charges,” said Maj. Dan Trudeau, commander of the Criminal Division for the state police.

“We’re grateful to have federal partners including the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that are equally dedicated to pursuing justice. That’s what we owe to victims, their families and the public,” Trudeau added. “In this case, the arrest of a suspect in Philadelphia just over two weeks after a homicide in Cambridge, Vermont, is due in no small part to the tireless work and seamless collaboration between the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Drug Task Force, the Lamoille County State’s Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont. We’re incredibly thankful for the joint effort that led to this arrest.”

This case was investigated by the Vermont State Police and the FBI, both in Vermont and Philadelphia, PA.  This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program.  PSN is 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. 

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller. Taylor Ruffin Herrington is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven Barth.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated March 19, 2020