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Press Release

Two Men Charged With Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl, Heroin, and Cocaine

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

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Justin Blake, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, and Michael Graham, 37, of Burlington, Vermont, were indicted yesterday by the federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to distribute, possessing with intent to distribute, and distributing fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.  Blake and Graham were both arrested on September 20, 2019, and are currently detained pending trial.

According to court records, the Burlington Police Department, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, conducted multiple purchases of fentanyl from Blake and Graham.  BPD Detectives identified three Burlington residences that Blake and Graham utilized as part of their drug distribution activities, and obtained warrants authorizing their search.  On September 20, 2019, BPD and DEA executed the three warrants on Washington Street, Riverside Avenue, and Archibald Street, seizing approximately 100 grams of cocaine, 30 grams of fentanyl, 14 grams of heroin, $5,300 of U.S. Currency, and a .22 caliber Beretta semi-automatic pistol.

If convicted, both defendants face a maximum of twenty years of imprisonment on each count.  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 defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the collaborative investigative efforts of the Burlington Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt.  Defendant Blake is represented by Robert L. Sussman, Esq.  Defendant Graham is represented by Gregory S. Mertz, Esq. 

Updated September 27, 2019

Drug Trafficking