Published On: Thu, Aug 8th, 2019

Vermont Correctional Officer Sentenced for Smuggling Buprenorphine into the Facility

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on August 5, 2019, United States District Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced Grant Vance, a former correctional officer at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, Vermont, to three months of incarceration.  Also on August 5, 2019, Judge Sessions sentenced Gregory Paradis, an inmate with whom Vance conspired, to 15 months of incarceration.

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According to court records, between 2003 and 2018, Vance was employed as a Correctional Officer at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, Vermont, where Paradis was an inmate.  During the summer of 2017, administrators at Northern State Correctional Facility (“NSCF”) began an investigation into the smuggling of controlled substances into NSCF.  Administrators spoke with six confidential informants who all stated that Vance was smuggling buprenorphine into NSCF.  Vance routinely brought the buprenorphine into the facility on Thursdays, obscuring it within a hollowed-out marker of the same type used by NSCF staff.

On Thursday, June 28, 2018, a federal search warrant for the defendant’s person was executed as he arrived at NSCF.  In Vance’s possession was a marker containing 61 buprenorphine strips.  According to inmates, a single strip of buprenorphine could be sold for as much as $600 within NSCF.  Vance received the buprenorphine by mail from former inmates and family of current inmates.  Postal records detailed seven packages being sent to his P.O. Box during the year leading up to his arrest.  After smuggling the buprenorphine into NSCF, he gave it to Paradis, who then distributed it to other inmates.  Vance also smuggled cigarettes and marijuana into the facility.

United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the collaborative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Vermont State Police, and the Vermont Department of Corrections.

The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nate Burris. Vance was represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender David McColgin.  Paradis was represented by Attorney Maryanne Kampmann.

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