Two Face Federal Drug Charges After Multi-Agency Enforcement Operation in Washington, Vermont
WASHINGTON, Vt.- The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Nicole LeClair, 34, of Washington, Vermont, and Christopher Emmons, 51, of Washington, Vermont, were arrested today during search warrants at their residences. LeClair has been charged with distributions of controlled substances that occurred at her residence. Emmons has been charged with knowingly allowing his residence to be a drug-involved premises at which controlled substances were distributed. Both defendants are scheduled to appear before Chief United States District Judge Geoffrey Crawford on Monday afternoon.
According to court records, during the months of March and April of 2022, law enforcement conducted controlled purchases of heroin/fentanyl and cocaine base from LeClair at her residence. LeClair used her Facebook Messenger account to arrange the transactions at her residence. A Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives obtained a search warrant for LeClair’s residence, which was executed today. During the search, law enforcement seized approximately 170 bags of suspected fentanyl, 5 grams of suspected cocaine base, and a SCCY semi-automatic pistol.
According to court records, during the months of March and April of 2022, law enforcement conducted controlled purchases of heroin/fentanyl and cocaine base at the residence of Emmons. Law enforcement identified Justin Llano, aka “TJ,” and Glendon Parrish-Cambell, aka “B,” as drug traffickers distributing heroin/fentanyl and cocaine base from Emmons’ residence. Emmons was present during multiple controlled purchases conducted at his residence. On one occasion in March, a confidential informant attempted to purchase drugs at Emmons’ residence. During the attempted transaction, Emmons reported to the CI that the drug traffickers had left the residence because law enforcement was conducting traffic stops in the area. A Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives obtained a search warrant for Emmons property, which was executed today. During the search, law enforcement seized 14 firearms (including a sawed-off shotgun), approximately 28 grams of suspected cocaine base, and approximately 400 bags of suspected fentanyl.
Both Llano and Parrish-Cambell have been charged by Criminal Complaint but remain at large. Federal arrest warrants have been issued for both men.
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that a Criminal Complaint contains allegations only and that LeClair, Emmons, Llano, and Parrish-Cambell are presumed innocent until and unless convicted of a crime.
United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the collaborative investigatory efforts of the Vermont Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine, Homeland Security Investigations, Vermont State Police, Montpelier Police Department, Barre City Police Department, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office provided vital assistance during execution of today’s search warrants.
The prosecutors are Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Gilman and Jonathan Ophardt. LeClair is represented by Natasha Sen, Esq. Emmons is represented by Mark Oettinger, Esq. Llano and Parrish-Cambell have not yet retained or been appointed counsel.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime https://www.justice.gov/psn