Meth conviction brings five-year jail sentence
By Brent Curtis
staff writer | February 04,2014
A Hancock man convicted of making and selling methamphetamine in Addison County was sentenced to five years in jail by a federal judge on Monday.
Michael Wood, 46, pleaded guilty last year to a single charge of manufacturing and distributing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant that has taken root in many states but is less frequently found in Vermont.
In U.S. District Court in Burlington on Monday, Judge William Sessions sentenced Wood to five years in jail and four years of supervised release.
That sentence is the mandatory minimum for the federal charge and one that Wood’s defense attorney and federal prosecutors agreed with.
While Wood qualified for a sentence ranging from 84 months to 105 months long, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan asked the court to impose a lesser sentence based on a number of mitigating factors.
Nolan wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court that Wood had provided useful information to investigators and had been making strides to overcome a cycle of addiction that he said is “inextricably intertwined with his criminal history.”
“Wood is hardworking, smart and personable and appears to understand that he cannot continue using drugs and alcohol,” Nolan wrote.
Federal public defender Michael Desautels said in his own sentencing memorandum that there is no denying the seriousness of making and selling a drug like methamphetamine.
“Mr. Wood realizes that he is responsible for spreading the scourge of this drug and its addictive horrors to others and he is very remorseful.”
Desautels said Wood was introduced to using the drug by an ex-girlfriend who also showed him how to make it. Later, in the fall of 2012, Wood began making it and selling it himself until his arrest in November of that year by members of the Vermont Drug Task Force.
Wood needs further drug treatment, Desautels wrote, and has the determination to see such rehabilitation through.
“A testament to Mr. Wood’s strength of character and resolve is the fact that he held down two jobs simultaneously (one full-time and a part-time job) before and during his methamphetamine use.”