Three Burlington area students agree to plead guilty for cocaine distribution

BURLINGTON The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated today that two Burlington area college students pleaded guilty in United States District Court in Rutland to crimes related to their involvement in a large cocaine distribution conspiracy. Specifically, Steven OReilly, 22, of Pembroke, MA, and Raymond Stenson, 22, of Burlington, Vermont, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. In addition, the third defendant, Christopher Wessling, 20, of Burlington, Vermont, has agreed to plead guilty to allowing his residence to be used to store cocaine. OReilly and Stenson face a mandatory minimum five year prison sentence, a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $2,000,000. Wessling faces a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. The actual sentences will be advised by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and ultimately determined by U.S. District Judge J. Garvan Murtha. The Court scheduled sentencing for O'Reilly and Stenson for May 28, 2008 in Rutland. Wessling's sentencing has not been scheduled at this time. In addition to pleading guilty to the conspiracy charge, OReilly also agreed to forfeit a 2004 Infinity SUV Q56-V8, $5,700 in cash seized as drug proceeds, and a Jacob & Co. diamond watch. According to court records, in the fall of 2004 O'Reilly began his freshman year at St. Michael's College in Colchester and almost immediately began selling marijuana, ecstasy, and later cocaine in the Burlington area. O'Reilly would purchase his cocaine from a source in Massachusetts. Within a year, Stenson, a Champlain College student, began purchasing cocaine from O'Reilly and selling it in the Burlington area. Court records also reveal that in the fall of 2006 Wessling, also a Champlain College student at that time, agreed to let O'Reilly use his apartment on South Willard St. in Burlington as a stash house. Over the course of the conspiracy, which ended in mid-November of 2006 (at that time search warrants were executed at O'Reilly and Wessling's apartments), O'Reilly sold over 3.5 kilograms of cocaine in the Burlington area. Stenson sold over 500 grams supplied to him by O'Reilly. This case was jointly investigated by the Burlington Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella. Steven O'Reilly is represented by Eric Miller, Esq of Burlington; Raymond Stenson is represented by Frank Twarog, Esq. of Burlington; and Christopher Wessling is represented by Alan Baum of Studio City, California.

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