NY man indicted on heroin charges
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | August 23,2013
Six people were indicted Thursday for their alleged roles in a heroin-distribution ring, including a New York man accused of bringing heroin that caused a fatal overdose of a Rutland man.
While the death of David Blanchard, 28, on Aug. 29, 2012 was not part of the conspiracy charge against Joshua “Rozay” Rose, 30, of Chester, N.Y., federal court documents alleged Rose sold the fatal dose to an intermediary who then sold it to Blanchard.
Rose was one of six people indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on a charge of conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin. Devon “Scrap” Cruz, Charles Hercules, Alan H. Willis II, Evan Murphy and Jean Marie Phillips were also named.
They face a minimum of five years and up to 40 years in prison, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan.
“The penalty structure can be changed to 20 years to life if death or serious bodily injury results from use of the substance,” Nolan said. “It has to be charged that way for that part of the charge to be applicable.”
Nolan said he could not comment on why the heroin death was not included as an element of the charge.
Rose was arraigned in February in Rutland criminal court on a single felony charge of selling cocaine. Affidavits described the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force conducting a controlled buy of $200 worth of crack cocaine from Rose.
That purchase took place in May 2012, according to court records, and an arrest warrant was issued for Rose in September of that year. At around the same time as a Vermont judge was issuing that warrant, court records say Rose was being held in Bronx County, N.Y., on a charge of possession with intent to distribute 1,400 bags of heroin.
Prosecutors said Rose was the leader in the heroin conspiracy until his arrest.
Willis also has a recent history in local courts. The Tinmouth man pleaded innocent in February to a felony drug-trafficking charge and then was back in Rutland criminal court on a possession charge in April.
Police said they found 1,500 bags of heroin in his home during the first arrest and 100 bags in his car during the second.
Less information was available on the alleged activities of Cruz and Hercules, who come from New York, or Murphy and Philips, who police said live in the Rutland area.