Rutland Man Sentenced to Five Years’ Imprisonment for Federal Conviction for Heroin and Crack Cocaine Distribution
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 30, 2014|
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated Chief Judge Christina Reiss, of the United States District Court, sentenced Ernest Murray, 51, of Rutland to five years’ imprisonment for conspiring to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in the Rutland area. In addition, Judge Reiss sentenced Murray to four years’ supervised release, to be served after he completed his five-year jail sentence. She also recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that Murray participate in the 500-hour substance abuse program for federal inmates.
Murray was charged with conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine base in the Rutland area in 2012-2013. The offense involved over 100 grams of heroin and over 28 grams of crack cocaine, either of which qualify for a five-year mandatory minimum jail sentence if proven by the government. Murray pled guilty to this quantity level and was thus sentenced to the five-year mandatory minimum. According to court records, Murray was initially charged in state court but continued to distribute drugs after he was released on state bail in July 2013. According to court records Murray used the nickname “Rah.”
Judge Reiss stated that the adverse impact of heroin in Rutland and other Vermont communities is a “tragedy” and Murray’s sentence sends a message to the community that drug distribution “will not be tolerated.” The government stated in its sentencing memorandum that: “Heroin is wreaking havoc in Rutland and many other Vermont communities” and “a strong message from the court needs to be continually sent to narcotic dealers that spreading their poison in the community will result in a lengthy jail sentence.” Murray acknowledged that he was getting too old to spend time in jail and stated that he was “tired of getting in trouble,” that he was “sick of being in jail,” and that he wanted to get his “life straightened out.”
The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella while the defendant is represented by David Williams, Esq. This case was jointly investigated by the Vermont Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.