BURLINGTON, VT. – Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, Tristram J. Coffin, stated that Joseph Zapatero, 31, of Manhattan, New York, was sentenced on September 26, 2011 by U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions, III to 168 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in Windsor and Burlington, Vermont. Additionally, Zapatero was sentenced to five years of supervised release to be served after his release from prison.
According to Court records, between November of 2006 and July of 2009, Zapatero was the supervisor of an extensive drug conspiracy that was active in two Vermont cities. Zapatero brought crack cocaine, powder cocaine, as well as opiates to Vermont and sold the drugs himself as well as through co-conspirators. Zapatero transported the drugs to Vermont via bus, rental cars, and by driving a black, Lincoln Navigator. He also sent crack cocaine by Postal Service express mail to individuals in both Windsor and Burlington. On many occasions, couriers from Vermont traveled to New York City to pick up drugs from Zapatero and to transport money to him there. Money from drug sales was also sent to Zapatero in Manhattan by Western Union wire transfer and by the use of Green Dot debit cards. This case involved multiple kilograms of crack cocaine and was a significant drug conspiracy in Vermont.
The case was investigated by the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The United States Attorney, Tristram J. Coffin commends each of these agencies for its work. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney, Nancy J. Creswell. Zapatero was represented by Attorney Richard Bothfeld of Burlington, Vermont.