The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Samantha Simms, 33, of Burlington, was sentenced on September 25, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss to time-served to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $4,000 fine.
According to court documents, on March 3, 2020, the Vermont State Police received a call from Michael Haines in Cambridge. Haines told a trooper that a person he knew as “Tee,” was attempting to break into his house and that Tee was outside his residence in a truck with Sam Simms. While on the call with the trooper, Haines suddenly said, “I’m shot, I’m shot.” When troopers arrived on scene, they found Haines deceased on the floor of his kitchen. Haines’s death has been ruled a homicide.
Investigation into the homicide has indicated that Simms drove Tee, a.k.a. Taylor Ruffin Herrington, to Haines’s residence in Cambridge and Herrington shot into Haines’s house in a dispute over drugs. Herrington has been charged in federal court with carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), and conspiracy to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846.
After the shooting, Simms drove Herrington back to Chittenden County. Later that evening, a confidential informant (CI) working with the Vermont Drug Task Force arranged a controlled buy of methamphetamine from Simms. The CI met with Simms and Simms provided the CI with less than one gram of meth. Simms was arrested and later pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
The United States was represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller. Samantha Simms was represented by Karen Shingler, Esq., and Norman Blais, 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