U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Vermont
(802) 951-6725
October 1, 2014

New York Man Imprisoned 69 Months for Heroin Trafficking

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on September 29, 2014, Devon Cruz, 29, of New York, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Christina Reiss to 69 months’ imprisonment on his guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Chief Judge Reiss also ordered that Hercules serve four years on supervised release after his incarceration ends.

According to court documents, Cruz, along with Joshua Rose, 21, and Charles Hercules, 23, both of New York, trafficked approximately one kilogram of heroin from New York to Rutland from early 2012 to February 2013. The three New York men sold the heroin in Rutland primarily through several heroin-addicted local residents, including Alan H. Willis, II, 42, of Tinmouth, and Evan Murphy, 23, of Rutland. During a joint investigation by the Vermont Drug Task Force (VDTF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), investigators used confidential informants to make controlled buys of the heroin from Willis and Murphy in the Rutland area.

On July 24, 2013, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Cruz, Rose, Hercules, Willis, Murphy, and Jean Marie Phillips, 47, of Rutland, with conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. All of the defendants have entered guilty pleas to the conspiracy charge, except Phillips, who pled guilty to aiding and abetting Rose’s possession with intent to distribute heroin. On April 28, 2014, Willis was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment. On May 9, 2014, Phillips was sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment. On August 26, 2014, Murphy was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment. On August 27, 2014, Hercules was sentenced to 39 months’ imprisonment. Rose is scheduled for sentencing on October 30.

United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin commended the joint investigation by the VDTF, DEA and FBI, and thanked the Vermont Attorney Generals Office for its cooperation. Burlington attorney Richard Bothfeld represented Cruz. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig S. Nolan.

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