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Press Release

Two Canadians Charged With Marijuana Smuggling

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Robert Eldridge, 67, and James Gauthier, 56, both residents of Quebec, appeared yesterday in United States District Court in Burlington following their arrest for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released Eldridge on conditions pending his next hearing, but ordered that Gauthier be temporarily detained until another hearing on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendants were arrested in the evening on April 2 in North Troy, just south of the international boundary. Agents observed Gauthier hiking through the woods south from Canada, then saw him put two duffle bags into a car being driven by Eldridge. Agents detained both defendants, searched the bags and discovered about 30 pounds of marijuana.

The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charge in the complaint is merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.

If convicted, the defendants face up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

Eldridge is represented by Brad Stetler and Gauthier by Bob Katims. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

Updated April 4, 2017

Drug Trafficking