Colchester Couple Arraigned on Drug Trafficking and Gun Charges
BURLINGTON, Vt. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced that Melinda Morgan, 41, and Dale Taylor, 39, of Colchester, Vermont were arraigned today on drug trafficking and gun charges arising from a June 30, 2023 traffic stop near Brattleboro, Vermont.
According to the indictment in the case, at the time of the stop, Morgan and Taylor possessed cocaine base and fentanyl with the intent to distribute it, and Morgan possessed two firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking offense. Following a hearing today before the Honorable Kevin J. Doyle, United States Magistrate Judge, both defendants were detained pending further proceedings.
The indictment is an accusation only and Morgan and Taylor are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted on the possession with intent to distribute charges, Morgan and Taylor face a maximum sentence of twenty years of imprisonment. If convicted on the possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Morgan faces a minimum of five years of imprisonment in addition to any sentence of imprisonment imposed for drug trafficking. Both defendants face a maximum $1,000,000 fine and three years of supervised release, which would follow any sentence of imprisonment. The actual sentence will be advised by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psn.