U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Vermont
(802) 951-6725
October 31, 2014

New York Man Imprisoned 75 Months for Heroin Trafficking That Led to Overdose Death of Rutland Man

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that yesterday Joshua Rose, 21, of New York, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Christina Reiss to seventy-five months’ imprisonment on his guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. At the sentencing hearing the government requested a sentence of 120 months. The defense sought sixty months. Chief Judge Reiss also ordered that Rose serve five years’ supervised release after his incarceration ends.

According to court documents, Rose trafficked 400 to 700 grams of heroin from New York City to Rutland during 2012. On September 4, 2012, Rose was arrested by the New York Police Department with 110 grams of heroin bound for Rutland. For the next six months, Devon Cruz, 29, and Charles Hercules, 23, both of New York, who had been assisting Rose, continued the heroin trafficking operation. 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, and Debra Bristol, 49, both of Rutland. On August 29, 2012, approximately one week before Rose’s arrest, David C. Blanchard III, of Rutland, died from an overdose of the heroin distributed by Rose and his associates.

During a joint investigation by the Vermont Drug Task Force (VDTF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Rutland Police Department (RPD), 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 Rose, Cruz, Hercules, Willis, Murphy, and Jean Marie Phillips, 47, of Rutland, with conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. On October 2, 2013, Bristol was similarly charged in a criminal information. All of the defendants 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. On October 1, 2014, Cruz was sentenced to 69 months’ imprisonment. Bristol is scheduled for sentencing on November 3.

United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin commended the joint investigation by the VDTF, DEA, FBI and RPD, and thanked the Vermont Attorney General's Office for its cooperation. Coffin added, “The overdose death of David Blanchard is a tragedy. The distribution of heroin devastates families and communities, and too often has lethal consequences, as it did in this case. This office is committed to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to prosecute the heroin dealers preying on Vermonters and those assisting the dealers.” Burlington attorney Karen Shingler represented Rose. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig S. Nolan.

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