BARRE — The second of three Massachusetts men involved in an incident in which police say an informant for the Northern Vermont Drug Task Force was beaten up during a drug deal has admitted to trafficking heroin.
Michael Krasin, 21, of Springfield, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court to felony counts of assault and robbery and heroin trafficking. Krasin was sentenced to three to 15 years, all suspended except for three years to serve. He is being housed at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vermont.
In October, Victor Hernandez-Guzman, 31, of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to felony counts of cocaine possession and heroin trafficking. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January, when the state will argue for a sentence of five to 15 years to serve and Colin Seaman, Victor Hernandez-Guzman’s attorney, will argue for no prison time. The state dropped a felony count of heroin possession per the plea agreement.
Augustin N. Mendoza, 26, also of Springfield, Massachusetts, faces felony counts of assault and robbery with injuries, heroin possession, cocaine possession and heroin trafficking. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison. He is being held at Southern State Correctional Facility on $75,000 bail.
According to an affidavit by the task force, Mendoza was the focus of an investigation. Investigators were using a cooperating individual identified as “Red” who was to buy drugs from Mendoza. Red had bought drugs from him in the past on multiple occasions, according to the task force, and indicated the purchases took place at the Hilltop Inn in Berlin.
The task force said a controlled buy was set up in May 2017, and Red was to buy 10 bags of heroin for $100 from Mendoza at the Econo Lodge in Montpelier.
After arriving at that location, a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee registered to Mendoza pulled up to Red. Two men, later identified as Mendoza and Krasin, got out. The three spoke briefly before Mendoza hit Red in the face, knocking the informant down. The task force said Krasin then kicked Red in the face. The pair continued to assault Red, who fell unconscious, before they got back into the Jeep and drove away on Route 12. The task force said Hernandez-Guzman was driving the Jeep and the trio were taken into custody in Williamstown after getting caught in traffic due to a crash.
A search warrant was issued for the room Mendoza had rented at the Hilltop, and investigators found 650 bags of heroin, 26.5 grams of crack cocaine and 26.4 grams of cocaine, according to court records.