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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vermont Man Sentenced to Over Twelve Years for Possession of Firearms and Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Heroin, and Cocaine Base

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Evan “Red” Harris, 34, of Burlington, Vermont, was sentenced yesterday for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, over 100 grams of heroin, and over 28 grams of cocaine base. United States District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Harris to a 91-month term of incarceration for the drug conspiracy, and a consecutive 60-month term of incarceration for the firearm offense, resulting in a total 151-month term of incarceration.

According to Court records, Harris was the primary Vermont-based drug distributor in the organization and perpetuated a long-running and violent conspiracy that imported over a kilogram of opiates into the Chittenden County area. Harris and his coconspirators employed Vermont drug users to regularly transport cash southbound to the Bronx and regularly bring more than 100 grams of heroin and fentanyl northbound to Vermont. Harris and others working with him then distributed the drugs to customers in Chittenden County and elsewhere. At times, Harris and others acting on his behalf sold pure fentanyl to local drug users, leading to at least two overdoses at a Milton residence. Further, Harris utilized the Winooski apartment of a senior citizen as a stash location for over 100 grams of heroin and provided this public housing tenant heroin in exchange for the use of the residence to package drugs for distribution. Finally, Harris traded heroin for a firearm on at least one occasion, and regularly displayed a firearm while distributing controlled substances.

Harris’ arrest on August 25, 2016 was the culmination of a coordinated operation that involved numerous federal, state, and local agencies in the states of Vermont and New York. In total, law enforcement seized over 350 grams of heroin, over 70 grams of cocaine base, a .45 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol, and over $11,000 cash from Harris and coconspirators. The investigation resulted in the indictment of Harris along with nine coconspirators, including Harris’ drug supplier Andre “Buzzo” Terrell. Terrell has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and is awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigations; the Vermont Drug Task Force; the Vermont State Police; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the New York State Police; the Shelburne Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Burlington Vermont Police Department, in the successful arrest and prosecution of Harris.

Harris was represented by Bradley S. Stetler, Esq. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated February 6, 2018