News Release — U.S. Department of Justice
June 16, 2017
United States Courthouse and Federal Building, Burlington
Fax: (802) 951-6540
Burlington Man Sentenced to 84 Months In Prison For Drug and Gun Charges
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that, on June 15, 2017, Phillip Wilson, 37, was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison after his guilty plea to the charges of distribution of heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss also ordered that Wilson serve three years of supervised release after his prison term.
According to court records, between February and June of 2016, Wilson sold heroin to an informant on five separate occasions. When a search warrant was executed at Wilson’s residence, law enforcement located 160 bags of heroin and a revolver. A second search warrant was executed at a residence frequented by Wilson and law enforcement located an additional 160 bags of heroin, $3,333 of U.S. currency, and two handguns. Wilson has been in federal custody since the time of his arrest.
For his crimes, Wilson faced a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence and a statutory maximum term of life in prison. The government and the defense agreed that an 84-month prison sentence was appropriate. In imposing that sentence, Judge Reiss considered the severity of the offense; the harm heroin has caused the Vermont community, and Wilson’s criminal record, among other factors.
Acting United States Attorney Eugenia Cowles commended the efforts of the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration for their work in this investigation. Acting United States Attorney Cowles 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.
The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nate Burris and Kunal Pasricha. Wilson was represented by Mark Oettinger of the Burlington law firm Montroll, Backus & Oettinger, P.C.