Vermont Resident Sentenced for Marijuana and THC-product Distribution Operation
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced that Kyle S. Lamothe, 29, presently of Milton, Vermont, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Burlington to 24 months’ incarceration following his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana. Chief District Judge Geoffrey Crawford also ordered that Lamothe pay a $20,000 fine and be subject to three years of supervised release following his sentence of incarceration.
In January 2021, a federal grand jury in Burlington returned an indictment charging Lamothe with four counts alleging various marijuana-related violations of the Controlled Substances Act, including two counts of distribution. In April 2021, the United States filed a plea agreement it had reached with Lamothe, allowing him to plead to a single violation, and Lamothe pleaded guilty to the drug offense on May 13, 2021. Lamothe faced up to 20 years of imprisonment for the crime to which he pleaded. Lamothe appeared before the Court for sentencing today, and the Court ordered that Lamothe remain released—subject to conditions of supervision—pending his self-surrender to the Bureau of Prisons for service of his 24-month sentence of imprisonment.
According to court records, Lamothe used a residence on Lasnier Road in Swanton, Vermont to store, process, and distribute marijuana and products infused with marijuana extracts and THC distillates. The Court found that the enterprise involved at least 700 kilograms (1,543 pounds) of “converted drug weight”—a measure the United States Sentencing Guidelines uses as a common denominator in cases involving multiple controlled substances that roughly equates to a kilogram of marijuana. Lamothe received hundreds of pounds of marijuana from suppliers in the western United States and in Canada, and he sold multi-pound quantities of marijuana to customers for profit. Lamothe also prepared thousands of unregulated THC-infused edibles in a lab facility in his residence. When federal authorities executed a search warrant on the Lasnier Road residence in November 2020, they seized over 600 kilograms of plant material, over 270 kilograms of various THC-infused products, and approximately $121,000 in currency. They also located four loaded firearms in the residence, each within reach of bulk currency or controlled substances.
The case was jointly investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Vermont State Police Narcotics Investigation Unit. Acting United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt commended their collaborative investigative efforts and noted his appreciation for the logistical assistance of the Vermont State Police. “While we acknowledge a qualitative difference between cannabis and more dangerous controlled substances, traffickers who possess large amounts of cannabis and currency attract violence. The guns encountered in this case are evidence of that connection. The United States Attorney’s Office, working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of traffickers who profit from unregulated black markets and endanger the community.”
Lamothe was represented by attorney Paul Volk. The prosecutor was Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Lasher.