Vermont guns swapped for Boston drugs

Vershire meth addict and burglar had 40 convictions since 1983

Dug up father’s grave in 2009, has sex crime convictions, court records say

Suffers traumatic brain injury but easily exploits legal loopholes

Massachusetts drug dealers seeking firearms sometimes acquire them in illegal barter with drug users from Vermont. Massachusetts State Police photo of illegally-owned gun seized and with illegal drugs from a suspected drug dealer (not Bailey).

by Alex Nuti-de Biasi
BOSTON—A Vershire man has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison after pleading guilty to weapons possession. Dominick Bailey, 57, and a co-defendant attempted to trade guns for drugs in November 2019 when police in Massachusetts arrested them in a sting. 

On Aug. 8, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton sentenced Bailey to 87 months in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. In addition, he will be on probation for three years upon his release from prison. He was also ordered to forfeit possession of the weapons seized at the time of his arrest. 

Dominick Bailey

This was Bailey’s third federal conviction for being a felon in possession of firearms after previous convictions in Vermont and New Hampshire although court records indicate he has been convicted more than 40 times for a “wide variety of criminal offenses” since 1983. 

Some of his prior convictions include lewd and lascivious conduct in 1987 and the unauthorized removal of human remains from a North Thetford cemetery in a case involving his late father in 2009. 

The prison term is slightly less than the 96 months, or eight full years, that prosecutors sought as they characterized Bailey as a “lifetime criminal.”

Bailey’s sentencing came nearly three years to the day after his co-defendant, Glenn Lacedra, of Revere, Massachusetts, agreed to plead guilty, and more than 18 months since Bailey pleaded guilty. Lacedra’s sentencing is currently scheduled for October. 

According to court filings, Lacedra and Bailey previously served prison sentences together at a federal prison in Devens, Massachusetts. Beginning in November 2019, Lacedra texted an undercover agent who posed as a methamphetamine dealer. 

On Nov. 14, 2019, Lacedra traveled to Vermont to pick up Bailey who supplied the guns for the drug exchange. Prosecutors said Bailey had a “daily habit” of methamphetamine use.

When they arrived at the Murphy Skating Rink parking lot in South Boston to meet the presumed drug dealer, Boston Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, DEA, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service officers arrested the pair and seized a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle, a 9 mm handgun, a .22 caliber handgun, a long barrel pistol, and multiple rounds of ammunition.

“When someone repeatedly breaks gun laws, as this defendant clearly did, they will be held accountable,” said Acting U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts Joshua S. Levy in a news release. 

A few months before Bailey’s 2019 arrest on federal gun charges, he faced approximately 20 misdemeanor charges across several separate cases, including multiple counts of driving on a suspended license and violations of abuse prevention orders. But then-Orange County State’s Attorney Will Porter opted to drop the charges after a defense-requested mental health evaluation found Bailey not competent to stand trial. 

In a 2019 interview, Porter told the Journal Opinion that the state could have pursued a hospitalization order, but it is expensive to hire an independent evaluator to support the state’s request. 

“It would have been throwing a lot of good money after bad,” Porter said. “I made the decision not to spend more money.”

Federal court records indicate Bailey has a traumatic brain injury. Still, federal prosecutors claimed in this case that Bailey is at ease exploiting loopholes and ignoring court-ordered constraints. 

“In recorded conversations, the defendant discussed his intimate knowledge of the criminal system and his varied attempts to manipulate the criminal justice system for his own benefit,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip C. Cheng and James Arnold wrote in a filing. 

In a separate document, police characterized the comments by Bailey in the recorded conversation with a federal agent as “mocking” Vermont’s judicial system. 

“The general context of the statements made indicate that Bailey acts crazy with the goal of VT courts finding him incompetent thereby resulting in dismissals of any criminal charges,” wrote Bradford Police Department Sgt. David Shaffer in 2022 in a probable cause affidavit seeking a search warrant of Bailey’s Parker Road home.

Despite the arrest on federal gun charges, prosecutors said Bailey repeatedly violated his bail conditions, including an order to remain in his home, throughout the intervening period.

Last year, the Bradford Police Department arrested Bailey for receiving stolen property, including firearms, as part of an investigation into a string of burglaries in Bradford, Fairlee, Thetford, and surrounding communities. Ultimately, eight people were arrested, but Bailey was described as a sort of “burglary ringleader.”

Two of the people arrested, police said, drove Bailey to Cottage Hospital about eight times. 

“… Bailey, who is on a GPS monitor, would feign some sort of ailment or go so far as to intentionally injure himself to be able to get a pass from his federal probation officer to leave his home area,” Shaffer wrote in an affidavit. 

As part of the investigation into those area burglaries, police were told that Bailey has a penchant for taking photographs of himself dressed in the clothes of his burglary victims. In one example, during a burglary at a George’s Way residence in West Fairlee, Bailey photographed himself  dressed only in a red NASCAR jacket while holding a cowboy hat over his genitals. 

In addition to receipt of stolen property, Bailey was also charged with conspiracy, accessory, and false information to police. He allegedly acted as an informant for Thetford Police Department in relation to an investigation into the burglaries, but withheld the full extent of his involvement from TPD. 

“In short, the defendant simply refuses to reform his conduct and abide by the societal determination that he is a convicted felon and unlawful drug user who is not permitted to possess firearms,” Cheng and Arnold wrote in a court filing. 

The author is the editor of the Journal-Opinion. He can be contacted at

Categories: Crime

3 replies »

  1. We already have tough federal gun laws on the books, and it good to see them used appropriately. NO NEW GUN LAWS until the ones already on he books are followed to the letter! “Police characterized the comments by Bailey in the recorded conversation with a federal agent as “mocking” Vermont’s judicial system”. Now we have heard it from the horses mouth…Vermont Legislature please take note…and Vermont voters: please stop voting for woke prosecutors.

  2. This habitual offender needs to be locked up and the key and the thrown away,
    what a POS…………..Drug dealers trying to sell firearms, and the firearms were
    most likely stolen both federal crimes !!!

    He’ll probable be out in a year, doing what he does best