Thursday, April 24, 2014
The Associated Press
BURLINGTON, Vt. - A Vermont farmer has been charged in a large marijuana trafficking ring involving drugs that federal officials believe were smuggled across the U.S.-Canadian border.
Kirt Westcom of East Fairfield pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
Westcom, who owns a 140-acre farm, is the fourth man to be charged in the case.
Jeffrey A. Donna, who owns T.J.'s Country Store in Montgomery; Roy L. McAllister II, vice president of McAllister Fuels Inc. of Richford; and Jesse J. Soule, a Montgomery dairy farmer, pleaded not guilty on May 29 to marijuana trafficking conspiracy charges, the Burlington Free Press reported.
"McAllister and Donna would often drop off marijuana at Westcom's property between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.," the affidavit said of what a confidential informant told authorities.
Westcom allegedly often hid the pot in hay bales in his barn, the affidavit said.
When the three other suspects were arraigned last month, federal drug agents searched Westcom's home and found evidence of marijuana and a marijuana grow room, court records show.
"Law enforcement inquired about his source of supply, and Westcom suggested that he wanted to talk to a lawyer," according to the affidavit.
Westcom was arrested Thursday.
In affidavits filed for search warrants in the cases of Donna, McAllister and Soule, federal agents alleged that the marijuana was smuggled across several spots on the Vermont-Quebec border.