The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on July 24, 2020, Chief United States District Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford sentenced Luis Luna, 28, of Hartford, Connecticut; Edwin Martinez, aka “Pino”, 26, of Hartford, Connecticut; and Samuel Fuller, 34, of Barton, Vermont following their guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and cocaine base. Chief Judge Crawford sentenced Luna to 72 months in prison, Martinez to 72 months in prison, and Fuller to 24 months in prison. James Bassett, 41, of North Troy, Vermont, a fourth co-conspirator will be sentenced on July 31, 2020.
All four defendants pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl. In addition, Fuller and Luna pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base. Luna and Martinez pleaded guilty to a conspiracy stretching from December 2018 to June 2019, while Fuller and Bassett pleaded guilty to a conspiracy ending in May 2019.
United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Vermont Drug Task Force for their collaboration on this investigation. She stated: “Our law enforcement partners, federal and state, are united in their efforts to stop the flow of deadly opiates and other illegal narcotics from out of state. As this case demonstrates, we are working hard to root out long time drug traffickers in Vermont and from source cities like Hartford, Connecticut. This case demonstrates that our law enforcement partners work seamlessly across state lines and that there will be serious consequences for dealers who victimize and profit by feeding the addictions of Vermonters.”
According to publicly available information, Edwin Martinez was Luis Luna’s fentanyl source in Hartford, Connecticut during the charged time period, and Luis Luna, in turn, supplied Samuel Fuller with the fentanyl that originated with Mr. Martinez. After making regular trips to Hartford, Connecticut and purchasing fentanyl from Luis Luna, Samuel Fuller would return to Vermont and split the fentanyl with James Bassett, who had provided the money for the purchase from Luis Luna. In addition, Mr. Luna was Mr. Fuller’s cocaine base source and would sell cocaine base to Mr. Fuller, who would then sell it in Vermont. In addition to the charged time period, Mr. Luna and Mr. Martinez have a history of supplying opiates to Vermonters since approximately 2012, including Mr. Fuller, who has been making trips to Hartford, Connecticut to buy opiates since approximately 2016. The Court noted Mr. Fuller’s addiction driven behavior during the conspiracy and his recovery since his arrest when explaining Mr. Fuller’s sentence.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Vermont State Police’s Drug Task Force conducted the investigation in this matter. The United States was represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Van de Graaf and Nikolas Kerest. Mr. Luna was represented by Natasha Sen, Esq. Mr. Martinez was represented by Kevin Henry, Esq. Mr. Fuller was represented by Brooks McArthur, Esq.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years