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Justice News

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Poultney Man Sentenced to 24 Months’ Imprisonment for Hosting Out-of-State Drug Dealers at His Residence

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated today that Wayne Oddo, 54, of Poultney, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment by Chief United States District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford sitting in Rutland, Vermont. Chief Judge Crawford also sentenced Oddo to a three-year period of supervised release by the U.S. Probation Office, which will begin when Oddo is released from prison.

Oddo previously pled guilty to a violation of a federal law that prohibits making a residence, or other place, available 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.

According to court records, from about December 2016 to March 2017, Oddo housed two out-of-state drug dealers who sold heroin and crack cocaine in Rutland County. These two drug dealers, Richard Torruellas (a.k.a. “Scoob”), 23, and Franseco Escribano (a.k.a. “Brisco”), 35, were known as the “Jersey Boys,” as they were from the Jersey City, New Jersey area. Both previously pled guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine base and each received sentences of 54 months’ imprisonment.

According to the government, Torruellas and Escribano often stayed overnight at Oddo’s residence on Morse Hollow Road in Poultney with their supply of drugs. During the day, they would go into Rutland and use local addicts to sell most of their drugs. In exchange for letting them stay at his residence, Torruellas and Escribano gave Oddo small, personal use amounts of drugs and paid some of his bills. Oddo also allowed Torruellas and Escribano to target shoot with his guns in his backyard.

During the execution of a search warrant at his residence on March 15, 2017, Oddo admitted that he moved the body of Alexandra Rooker, 26, who had fatally overdosed a week earlier at Oddo’s residence. Specifically, Oddo stated that he had moved her body to his shed because of the smell and had not reported her death to anyone.

Several months before the discovery of Rooker’s body, there was another drug related-death at Oddo’s home, and in that situation too, Oddo never called for help. In light of these facts, in its sentencing memorandum, the government argued that a significant sentence of imprisonment was appropriate:

It is astonishing that over a six-month period there were two-drug related deaths at his residence and, in both instances, the defendant appeared to lack the basic decency to notify law enforcement. Most people, even those battling the demons of addiction, know instinctively that there is a line below which it is simply immoral to descend. Hiding the body of a deceased person falls well below that line. The defendant appears to have had no qualms about descending to that dark place.

U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan stated:

“In light of the defendant’s disregard for the dignity of deceased persons, a significant sentence was warranted. This tragic case also shows how destructive and corrosive the opioid crisis is in the State of Vermont.”

“The opioid crisis in Vermont requires a multi-faceted law enforcement approach aimed at reducing supply, which will complement statewide efforts to reduce demand by making drug treatment more accessible to addicts. As part of our continued vigorous prosecutions of large-scale drug dealers, it is necessary to also target those lower-level residents who enable larger out-of-state dealers by providing them with a places to stay, store their product, and conduct drug trafficking activities. Prosecuting these individuals and shutting down these safe houses is necessary because oftentimes these facilitators will host a succession of out-of-state drug dealers. In appropriate cases, such as when the owner of the property is aware of the drug dealing and fails to take reasonable and safe steps to stop it, such as by contacting law enforcement, we will consider utilizing federal forfeiture law to seize and forfeit the property.”

Rutland County State’s Attorney Rosemary Kennedy stated:

 “I want to thank the US Attorney’s Office for all their work on this case. The State looks forward to prosecuting the matter in State court.”

This case was 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 prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. Wayne Oddo is represented by Steven Barth, Esq., of the Federal Public Defenders Office.

Drug Trafficking
Updated October 17, 2018