BELLOWS FALLS — A local woman and her husband were sentenced to more than four years each on charges they distributed synthetic drugs purchased from manufacturers in China. The pair were also sentenced for heroin offenses.
According to a press release from the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, Jesse Emerson, 36, of Springfield, received 55 months in federal prison based on his conviction of conspiracy to distribute alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (a-PVP) over an eight-month period in 2014 and 2015.
Chief Judge Christina Reiss also ordered that Emerson serve a five-year period of supervised release following his incarceration.
On March 21, Emerson's wife, Eugenia Emerson, 35, of Bellows Falls, was sentenced to 49 months in prison and three years of supervised release based on her conviction of conspiracy to distribute a-PVP and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
According to court records, on Feb. 1, 2014, the Vermont State Police stopped Eugenia Emerson on Interstate 91 as she was returning from picking up heroin in Hartford, Conn. Emerson was traveling with her two minor children at the time of the car stop. Troopers conducted a consent search of the vehicle, finding approximately 690 bags of heroin hidden under a seat.
Emerson subsequently admitted to agents that in 2013 and 2014 she had been involved in heroin trafficking with a group of individuals known as the "Jersey Boys." She acknowledged making a dozen trips during that time period, which resulted in the transportation of approximately 28,000 bags of heroin from New Jersey to Vermont.
Within months of the Feb. 1, 2014, car stop, Emerson became involved in a conspiracy with her husband and others to import a-PVP, a synthetic drug commonly known as "bath salts," for distribution in the Springfield area. The scheme involved Jesse and Eugenia Emerson ordering a-PVP online from a supplier in China. The Emersons and others wired payment to the Chinese supplier, who would in turn ship kilogram quantities of the drug directly to addresses in the Springfield area. Once the a-PVP arrived in Springfield, Jesse Emerson and an associate distributed it in neighboring Vermont and New Hampshire communities.
The Emersons were responsible for the importation of approximately 12 kilograms of a-PVP to Vermont.
On Feb. 4, 2015, a confidential informant purchased 100 bags of heroin from Eugenia Emerson. Law enforcement executed federal search warrants for Emerson's Bellows Falls home and her Lincoln Navigator on Feb. 6, 2015, where they recovered a Ruger pistol, numerous cell phones and laptop computers, drug paraphernalia, empty heroin bags, and documentation related to bath salts shipments.
A simultaneous search warrant at Jesse Emerson's residence in Springfield yielded drug paraphernalia, several laptop computers, a rifle, a 9mm pistol, a shotgun, and a muzzleloader.
The Emersons were arrested on Feb. 6, 2015 and have remained detained since that time.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Vermont Drug Task Force, the Springfield Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.