Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Andre Clarke, age 37, of the Bronx, New York, plead guilty on May 2, 2016 before the Honorable William K. Sessions, III, to conspiring to distribute Oxycodone in Vermont from 2011 through June 2014. Clarke, a New York City police officer, received a preliminary sentencing date of August 29, 2016. Judge Sessions released him on previously imposed conditions until his sentencing.
On July 7, 2015, a federal grand jury sitting in Burlington handed down a multi-count Indictment, which charges Clarke, Michael Foreste, and Dannis Hackney with the Vermont Oxycodone conspiracy. Foreste and Hackney are charged with additional drug trafficking and money laundering offenses. Both men have entered pleas of not guilty and are awaiting trial. According to prosecutors, Clarke, who lived in the Bronx and Long Island during the events in question, supplied oxycodone to Michael Foreste, of Valley Stream, New York. Foreste, in turn, supplied the pills to Dannis Hackney, of Burlington, Vermont, who sold them to Burlington area addicts. Foreste personally brought Hackney pills, and sometimes sent them via U.S. Mail. Clarke, Foreste, and Hackney transferred drug proceeds using various bank accounts. Foreste and Hackney are also each charged with two counts of money laundering based on this banking activity. Foreste and Hackney have been in custody since their arrests in June 2014 and are awaiting trial.
Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison in the event of conviction on the oxycodone charge. The money laundering counts also carry a maximum penalty of 20 years' imprisonment. The actual sentence, in the event of conviction, will be determined by the Court with reference to the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory sentencing factors.
The investigation has spanned about two years and is a collaborative effort of Homeland Security Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the New York City Police Internal Affairs Bureau.
Assistant United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan is handling the prosecution. Clarke is represented by Chandler Matson, Esq., of Stowe, Vermont.
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont
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