The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment on October 15, 2020 charging five individuals with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in and around Addison County, Vermont between November 2019 and October 2020. Kevin Williams, 31, is the lead defendant.
According to the criminal complaint filed earlier in the case, Williams—who is also known as “Taco”— supervised the transportation of controlled substances from his home city of Paterson, New Jersey to locations in Vermont for distribution, including New Haven and Cornwall. Williams was arrested for the offense while he was present in Vermont on October 11, 2020, and he was arraigned today in Burlington before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy in conjunction with a hearing on his detention or release pending trial. The defendant pleaded not guilty and was detained pending trial.
Four other defendants were charged along with Williams: Abigail Quesnel, 52, and John Quesnel, 57, both of Cornwall, Vermont; Sue Hutting, 61, of New Haven, Vermont; and Brittany Grover, 35, of Bristol, Vermont. These defendants will be arraigned on the charge at a later date that has not yet been set by the Court.
If convicted of this offense, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment and up to a $5 million fine. The actual sentence for each defendant, however, would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charge in the indictment is merely an accusation, and that each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This indictment follows an eleven-month investigation conducted by multiple state and federal agencies that was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. During the investigation, law enforcement seized more than 5,000 glassine baggies of heroin, more than 200 grams of cocaine, and over $12,000 in currency, and investigators obtained evidence of historical amounts well in excess of those seized. Agents also seized several firearms tied to the investigation. ATF was assisted in this investigation by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and troopers from both the Vermont State Police and the New York State Police, and the investigation involved activities in the District of Vermont, the Northern District of New York, and the District of New Jersey. “ATF will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement counterparts to vigorously combat drug traffickers and the threat they pose to our citizens by illegally possessing firearms in furtherance of their illegal drug trade,” stated Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Division.
The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Lasher. Kevin Williams is represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office. Counsel has not yet appeared in the case for the other defendants.