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Date: 06-12-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Keniel Santiago

Case Number: 2:23-cr-00044

Judge: Christina Reis

Court: The United States District Court for the District of Vermont (Chitten County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office om Burlington

Defendant's Attorney:

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Burlington, Vermont criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Drug and Gun Crimes

Springfield, Massachusetts Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Drug and Gun Crimes

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont stated that on June 10, 2024, Keniel Santiago, 21, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced by United States District Judge Christina Reiss to a term of 60 months’ imprisonment to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Santiago previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in Vermont between September 2020 and March 2021 and aiding and abetting making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm in Vermont in January 2021.

According to court records, Santiago worked with other people to bring heroin and crack cocaine from Springfield, Massachusetts to Bennington, Vermont where they would sell the illegal drugs. Santiago also arranged for one of his co-conspirators to purchase a handgun for Santiago from a dealer in Vermont. In doing so, Santiago’s co-conspirator lied to the firearms dealer, saying the gun was for them and not for Santiago. Santiago knew that his associate had to lie to make the purchase. In exchange for the gun, Santiago paid them in money and drugs.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the collaborative investigatory efforts of Homeland Security Investigations, the Bennington Police Department, the Vermont State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Perella and Colin Owyang. Santiago was represented by Ian Carleton, Esq.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit


Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release

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