Aug 18, 2015 (BURLINGTON, Vt.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that, on August 17, 2015, Matthew Farkas, 42, of Montreal, Canada, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison after his guilty plea to charges that he conspired to distribute marijuana and transport the proceeds from that conspiracy across international borders. U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered that Farkas serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. Farkas also forfeited $35,000 in drug proceeds to the United States at the sentencing hearing.
According to court records, Farkas was involved in a marijuana conspiracy that lasted from 2007 through November of 2012. From Canada, Farkas arranged that bulk quantities of marijuana be smuggled into the United States from Canada at locations in Vermont and Northern New York. The marijuana was then sold in the United States and the cash proceeds from the sales were smuggled from the United States to Canada.
Farkas was arrested in Australia by Australian authorities in 2014 at the request of the United States. He was subsequently extradited back to Vermont to face federal charges. Farkas had moved to Australia in 2011 with his family.
For his crimes, Farkas faced a statutory maximum term of 20 years in prison. The United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are advisory, recommended that Farkas receive a prison term between 168 and 210 months. In a written plea agreement, the government and defense counsel agreed that the Court should sentence Farkas to a sentence of between 24 and 72 months. In determining that a 37-month sentence was appropriate in this case, Judge Sessions considered, among other factors, Farkas’ decision to remove himself from the conspiracy and obtain legitimate employment in Australia and the fact that Farkas has two young children to support.
United States Attorney Miller commended the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for their investigation into this matter.