13 Indicted In IP Meth Case
BURLINGTON, VT - Thirteen Northeast Kingdom defendants have been indicted by federal grand jury with methamphetamine-related drug crimes following a raid on an Island Pond house in November of 2011.The U.S. Attorney's Office in Burlington will be prosecuting Carl Dewayne Coker, Charles Thomas Amerine III, Mandy Darlene Johnson, Frank Santaw, and Kevin Dodge with conspiring to manufacture five grams or more of methamphetamine from Spring 2011 to November 2011. Frank Santaw and Kevin Dodge are also charged with conspiring to manufacture five grams or more of methamphetamine from September 2011 to December 2011.Alicia Ovitt, Joshua Ovitt, and James Castrogiovanni are charged with conspiring together and with Coker, Amerine, Johnson, Santaw, and Dodge to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, from Spring 2011 to November 2011.James Castrogiovanni, Honey Lee Lacourse, Roger Chaffee, Cheryl Hackett, Richard Lavoie, and Jaime Cross were charged with with conspiring together and with Santaw and Dodge to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, from September 2011 to in or about December 2011.Coker, Amerine, and Johnson, all formerly of Island Pond, were arrested on November 18, 2011. Coker is detained pending trial. Santaw and Dodge, both of Island Pond, were arrested on December 16, 2011. Santaw is detained pending trial. The other eight defendants were arrested on April 17, 2012. Cross, Chaffee, and Lavoie are detained temporarily pending hearings scheduled for April 19, 2012.United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin emphasizes that the charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, defendants charged in Count 1 or 2 face imprisonment for a term between 5 and 40 years and defendants charged in Count 3 or 4 face imprisonment for a term up to 20 years. Actual sentences in the event of conviction would be determined pursuant to the advisory federal sentencing guidelines and the federal statutory sentencing factors.The investigation of these crimes was led by the Vermont Drug Task Force with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Vermont State Police Field Force Division, the United States Marshals Service, and the Brighton Police Department assisted in the arrests of defendants. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan.