Boston residents operating in Swanton indicted on drugs and guns trading charges

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

VERMONT GUNS ON THE MOVE: According to authorities, two men from Boston allegedly have been moving cocaine to Vermont and transporting guns back to the city.

BURLINGTON — Two Boston residents who temporarily had been living in Swanton were indicted Monday by a federal grand jury on charges related to drug and firearm conspiracy.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, John “Sunshine” Guerrero, 26, and Darwin “Weezy” Medina, 34, were arrested Jan.15, 2019, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in Boston. The men appeared in Burlington federal court on Feb. 5 for detention hearings and are now in custody until further proceedings.

The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont states the men were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and interstate transportation of firearms with removed serial numbers.

The release also cites a previous criminal complaint that alleged the pair agreed to purchase cocaine powder from South Boston and process it into crack cocaine in Swanton. In all, the men distributed over 280 grams, according to the DOJ statement.

Guerrero and Medina agreed to distribute crack and obtain firearms in the Swanton area between September 2017 and March 2018, according to the DOJ.

The St. Albans Police Department cooperated with ATF agents and the South Boston Police Drug Control Unit to conduct the investigation.

“The pair acquired multiple firearms by having drug customers ‘straw purchase’ the guns, wherein the licensed firearms dealers were unaware that the actual purchasers were not the individuals appearing in the stores,” the release states.

U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan said this case “is an outstanding example of the ATF working seamlessly with local police departments in Massachusetts and Vermont” to stop the flow of drugs into Vermont and the trafficking of illegally acquired Vermont guns to “drug source cities like Boston.”

Nolan told True North that selling drugs in return for guns is common among traffickers in the region.

“The charges issued is not just allegations that the defendants sold a substantial quantity of crack cocaine in Vermont, but also allegations that they possessed guns in furtherance of the drug trade,” she said. “As the release makes clear, they enlisted their drug customers to acquire the guns for them that were then trafficked back to Boston.”

The grand jury also indicted five drug purchasers who allegedly purchased at least 30 guns for the two Boston men.

“The defendants completed firearm transaction forms when purchasing the guns, in which they falsely stated that they were the actual buyers of the firearms and were not unlawful users of any controlled substances,” the release states.

At least five of these guns have been recovered by Boston law enforcement.

Nolan said criminals in large cities are looking to acquire guns to protect their drug trade and keep customers in line. Moreover, the firearms confiscated in the case had their serial numbers removed or obliterated before being transferred from Vermont to Boston to avoid being traced.

The prosecution of this case is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood, a nationwide initiative to address gun crime.

“Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF, Project Safe Neighborhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who violate federal gun laws,” the release states.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office praised the efforts of the ATF agents in Vermont and Massachusetts, the St. Albans Police Department, and the South Boston Police Drug Control Unit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Lasher is leading the prosecution. Guerrero is being represented by attorney David Kidney, and Medina is represented by attorney Michelle Anderson Barth.

The charges are only accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, Guerrero and Medina face a minimum term of 15 years in prison and a maximum possible life term.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of St. Albans Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection

14 thoughts on “Boston residents operating in Swanton indicted on drugs and guns trading charges

  1. Digger has a great new revenue stream, the “sponsor spotlight” its a wonderful way for digger to get a handout from the teachers union. Digger then does it’s job and promotes things liberal and progressive, while banning articles and comments from folks who may have a different point of view. I just wish digger would stop saying it has journalists and reporters. Bought and paid for politcal puppets is closer to the truth.

  2. “I am not open to argument here
    Please be mindful of our rules — don’t debate other commenters and keep it constructive”

    The left complains of †totalitarianism and fascism and then practice it so very well and openly are against any form of speech they don’t approve of,all the while claiming their first amendment rights.

    • J, sounds like far left digger banning another point of view. I think digger should lose its non-profit status, they are just a puppet for the political left, a political operative. Not surprising, look at their major sponsors, including the teachers union. I made a comment questioning the hypocrisy of one of their major sponsors, cate immediately protected her $$$$ interest. Happens all the time.

  3. Makes an excellent point. Criminals will bypass whatever laws they choose to obtain what they want.
    The ones that suffer are the law abiding citizens which are penalized by new gun control laws.
    Throw the book at these losers. Lock them up and throw away the key.

  4. Another reason to control VT peaceful residents their gun rights who had nothing to do with criminal activities.

    VT needs a wall

  5. Thank God for the Feds and their assistance to our local police forces. Our state does not back up our local law enforcement, our jails are like the chamber of commerce for drug dealers, people are in an out all the time.

    Great work….

    If we made it more difficult to deal drugs in our state, maybe they’d go somewhere else that’s easier. We have a serious drug problem that needs more attention, but our state is busy working on other things, like keeping the lobbyists happy.

    Censorship on Digger seems to be getting more pervasive, have been denied at least 5 comment in the last few days. Perhaps they’re still looking for the truth…

    • Hey Neil, I just emailed Ann Galloway to ask her why 3 of my comments in the last 4 days had been blocked. Her answer was that my comments were not constructive to the article. I had commented on the new gun bills in the senate and spoke of article VI of the US constitution. When I questioned her further this is what she wrote back
      “Hi Dan
      I am not open to argument here
      Please be mindful of our rules — don’t debate other commenters and keep it constructive
      I had made reference to a 72 hour waiting period for abortion pertaining to the same proposed wait to buy a gun by Phil Baruth. These are two issues that conservatives can’t bring up on Digger apparently. However if a liberal comment is made it always passes the moderator’s smell test. VtDigger has no conservative reporters and they hire mostly young people fresh out of the indoctrination centers (journalism colleges) or other liberal organizations. The free exercise of comments and ideas are American values. The left wants to stifle anything not agreeable with their goals of group think and censorship by omission. Just take a look at the daily Trump bashing Danzinger lampoon and the never ending liberal commentary section of saving the world from Vermont. I’m done with them and their begging for money. I always read your insightful comments. Today I got to see who Ann Galloway is and it was disappointing.

      • Digger never prints my comments about requiring a background check to purchase marijuana, along with mandatory reporting to the National Instant Check System so these people can’t purchase firearms, as it would require them to lie on the federal firearms transaction form 4473.

        They must get their marching orders from the Chittenden County Senators.

        • ” marching orders from the Chittenden County Senators.”

          Hammer meet the head of the nail..
          I believe your right Frank, since they require you to be a facebooker or twater twit neither of which I’ll ever belong to and the prevalence of Demonrat legislative leaches replying on why they intrude on our lives I’d say they are at least becoming a propaganda wing of the progtards and leftist demonrats.
          Rejecting posts is Rejecting Freedom of Speech no matter what excuse Galloway gives. Shes no better then the Anti Fascist Fascist Pantyfa wing of the anti first Amendment crowd.

        • Digger ignores my comments as well. The comments weren’t argumentative, just real events and happenings in the state. Take it for a grain of salt (not to diminish the value of salt). I don’t go near them, they will collapse on their own idiotology like the VT legislature. They are a delusional bunch waste of brain matter.

          Just move on and consider the source.

        • Their donation revenue is down year or year last I peaked at the 990’s. Digger was good 5-8 years ago. Last I looked at them, some time ago, the only thing worth reading were the commentary articles. Noticed they have been funneling through reporters on a faster and faster pace also. They’ve become nothing more ten a trumpet for the progressives. Much like a redux of seven days.

      • It’s a major issue. I also sent in a commentary that exposes the huge wast and stealing of tax payer money all in the name of affordable housing. The haven’t mouth it up. Sent another request and they are totally ignoring the request.

        It really is more propaganda than news, as reader so noticed the comic section is completely one sided, along with most any story. I asked her if I could write for them when the cut me down on commentating, for free, no takers.

        Censorship of ideas and comments is a major reason those in office keep getting re-elected and Vermonters for the most part being uninformed about what is really going on in Montpelier. I’d love to do an article on this through our Citizen Reports, I bet there are hundreds if not thousands of examples. That would be fun and informative. I know most in the press won’t cover the topic

      • Most everything you said has been my own experience on Digger. I’ve found it to be complete waste of my time–which I would have to say would seem to be their objective. Spending time to compose and post a thoughtful message that is never seen is non-productive.
        You have but to look at where these people who populate Mount DiggerOlympus have come from. At least one is from the Happy Valley of Massachusetts where those with anything resembling a conservative state of mind are shunned, ridiculed or ignored outright.
        In light of the above, I no longer even bother with Digger. Let them babble in their own echo chamber.

  6. So here we go, two criminals sell Illegal drugs and in the position of firearm transplants
    from the city !!

    I wonder if these two followed any other of the current ( 100 ) laws on the books, background
    check, locked & stored when not in use, a bill of sale. Oh, they probably had a waiting period
    covered, as the scum bags had to figure out how to purchase the firearms !!.

    Oh, wait their ” Criminals ” they don’t need to follow any laws, laws are only followed by law-abiding citizens only !!

    They are probably already out, back on the street heading home never to be seen again ??

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