Federal drug officials warn that methamphetamine trafficking and use is on the rise in Vermont.
February 8, United States District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Hamza Sharifshoble to 60 months in prison plus 5 years of supervised release following his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine, the office for the US Attorney of Vermont said.
“We are seeing the disturbing trend of increasing amounts of pure methamphetamine in Vermont,” said United States Attorney Christina Nolan. “This case reflects our determination and ongoing efforts to keep this highly addictive and potentially deadly substance out of Vermont and to punish those who profit from dealing it. Meth is mentally and physically destructive, and it tears families and communities apart. We will continue to aggressively prosecute methamphetamine traffickers in coordination with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations and in federal, state and local law enforcement.”
“The prevalence of methamphetamine in our communities is something HSI is committed to reducing,” said William S. Walker, acting Special Agent in Charge for HSI Boston. “HSI will continue to work with our partners at the Vermont Drug Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office to stop subjects like Sharifshoble from distributing these dangerous narcotics in Vermont.”
In April 2019, the Vermont Drug Task Force (VDTF) began an investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine in the Chittenden County area. During April and May 2019, the VDTF arranged purchases of methamphetamine from Sharifshoble’s co-defendants, Shane Casey and Kimberly Jones. Eventually, a joint Homeland Security Investigation and VDTF investigation showed that Sharifshoble was distributing methamphetamine himself and also supplying Casey and Jones with methamphetamine. Homeland Security Investigations and VDTF, working together, then arranged four purchases of methamphetamine directly from Sharifshoble. Sharifshoble conspired to distribute over 90 grams of high-purity methamphetamine, a highly addictive and dangerous stimulant.
Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity, according to Wikipedia.
According to The Other Paper, a South Burlington newspaper, Sharifshoble is 25 and a South Burlington resident. He has been involved in selling meth since 2019, police say. Federal officials also seized a bank account belonging to Hashim Muse, described as Sharifshoble’s brother and a student at Castleton University.
The 60-month sentence imposed by Judge Reiss considered the large quantity of methamphetamine distributed by Sharifshoble and his co-conspirators, as well as the danger posed to the Vermont community by methamphetamine.
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