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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Vermont Woman Sentenced To 25 Months In Prison For Heroin Dealing

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that, on September 8, 2016, Rebecca Lawrence, 32, of Winooski, Vermont, was sentenced to 25 months in federal prison after her guilty plea to charges that she distributed heroin. U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford also ordered that Lawrence serve three years of supervised release after her prison term.

According to court records, in 2014, Lawrence was convicted in the Southern District of New York on charges that she conspired to distribute controlled substances. For this offense, she was sentenced to a term of time served followed by five years of supervised release. In March of 2015, responsibility for Lawrence’s supervision was transferred to the District of Vermont.

In November and December of 2015, while Lawrence was still serving her term of federal supervised release, the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force used a confidential informant to conduct a series of controlled purchases of heroin from her. She was arrested on December 18, 2015 and charged with distributing heroin in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. Lawrence pled guilty to this offense on May 6, 2016.

For her crime, Lawrence faced a statutory maximum term of 20 years in prison. The United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are advisory, recommended that Lawrence receive a prison term of between 21 and 25 months. The Guidelines also recommended that Lawrence receive an additional prison term for violating her federal conditions of release. Judge Crawford decided that Lawrence should serve 15 months for her drug offense followed by an additional 10 months for violating her federal conditions of release, resulting in a total sentence of 25 months in prison. In determining the appropriate sentence, Judge Crawford considered the gravity of the offense and Lawrence’s criminal record, among other factors.

United States Attorney Eric Miller commended the efforts of the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force and the Burlington Police Department. United States Attorney Miller noted that this case is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Vermont Heroin Initiative, which is a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat heroin distribution in Vermont. According to United States Attorney Miller, the United States Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners will continue to disrupt the flow of heroin into Vermont and hold drug dealers accountable for their serious crimes against the community.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Doherty, Jr. Lawrence is represented by Michael Shklar from Newport, New Hampshire.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated September 13, 2016