A Rutland man who prosecutors say terrorized his fellow residents by dealing crack cocaine in the city received the minimum sentence called for by federal sentencing guidelines Monday.
John Crawford, 34, received a 57-month sentence in U.S. District Court in Rutland after pleading guilty to two felony charges of distribution of crack cocaine.
In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan requested a 71-month sentence for Crawford, who was known locally as “IG.”
“Defendant (Crawford) distributed cocaine base and terrorized the citizens of Rutland by constantly carrying and sometimes discharging firearms in a city plagued by drugs,” court records state.
March 12, 2012, court records state, Crawford discharged .357 Magnum revolver in the presence of a child at 20 Hopkins St. During an investigation of that incident, members of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned Crawford had purchased 11 guns later used in crimes in Cincinnati between 1999 and 2000.
April 30, 2012, records state, an informant working for the ATF purchased heroin from Crawford.
“The informant reports that the defendant always has a firearm on him in a holster,” records state. “During the transaction, defendant expresses an interest in acquiring firearms and explains he has ‘boys’ in Bennington who would be interested in guns for sale.”
May 15, 2012, the Vermont Drug Task Force used a different informant to buy crack cocaine from Crawford, records state, and May 28, Rutland City Police responded to complaint of people dealing drugs from a parked car and found Crawford in possession of a loaded .380-caliber pistol with a laser sight. Crawford was prohibited from possessing firearms as a condition of release stemming from his March 12 charges, records state.
May 29, while in custody, Crawford was found to be in possession of 14 bags of heroin, records state. July 5, Crawford again sold crack cocaine to an informant with the Vermont Drug Task Force, according to court records.
Crawford was aware he was prohibited from carrying guns. July 20, records state, Crawford fell off of a scooter and was transported to Rutland Regional Medical Center.
While at the hospital, “officers seize a fully-loaded pistol and another 56 rounds of ammunition from defendant’s (Crawford’s) backpack, along with a crack pipe and a state court order prohibiting him from possessing firearms,” court records state.
At the time of the crash, according to court records, Crawford reportedly told ATF investigators, “My boys know I carry so they bring me along on their deals as muscle.”
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Crawford could have been sentenced to as many as 71 months in prison. Instead, Judge William K. Sessions gave Crawford 57 months, the minimum sentence called for by the guidelines, to be followed by two years of supervised release.
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