The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Albert Torres Morales, 30, of Richford, Vermont was sentenced today to 84 months imprisonment on charges that he carried a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and conspired to distribute heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine. Chief Judge Christina Reiss also ordered that Torres Morales serve a three-year period of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.
According to court records, the Vermont Drug Task Force conducted more than ten controlled purchases of heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine from Torres Morales in and around Richford between January and April 2014. According to sources cooperating with law enforcement, Torres Morales regularly possessed a firearm in connection with his drug dealing activity. During a controlled purchase of heroin on March 24, 2014, law enforcement captured audio and video footage of Torres Morales in possession of a handgun while he conducted a heroin transaction.
In the overnight hours of April 19, 2014, Larry Garrow, Jr. of Richford burglarized Rite-Way Sports in Hardwick of 32 handguns. Jaime Hoben then drove with Garrow to Richford, where Garrow traded some 20 of the handguns to Torres Morales for heroin and money. The firearms consisted of .380 and 9mm handguns. Those firearms have not been recovered. The remaining handguns were recovered when Larry Garrow, Sr. found a bag of guns in the bedroom of his son, Larry Garrow, Jr., and turned them in to the Vermont State Police.
On April 22, 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Torres-Morales’s residence, the location of numerous controlled purchases of narcotics from Torres-Morales. Among other items, agents recovered a drug ledger and a safe containing $6,000 in cash. Torres-Morales was arrested the same day with heroin and over $1,000 in cash.
Also in connection with this case, Hoben was sentenced to six months imprisonment and three years of supervised release on a charge of possession of stolen firearms. On March 2, 2015, Garrow was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release after his conviction for possession of stolen firearms. As part of his plea agreement with the government, Garrow stipulated that he stole the firearms from Rite-Way Sports.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Vermont State Police, with the assistance of the United States Border Patrol, and the Hardwick Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Doyle. Torres-Morales was represented by Michael L. Desautels, Esq. of the Federal Defender’s Office.