Criminal Justice News

Friday, June 23, 2017

Quebec Man Extradited to Vermont on Firearms Smuggling Charges



The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Alexis Vlachos, 40, of Montreal, Quebec, was recently extradited from Quebec to the District of Vermont to face multiple federal firearms charges, including exporting firearms from the United States into Canada without a permit.

The Indictment against Vlachos, returned by the grand jury in Burlington, Vermont in February 2015 contains five counts. The first count charges Vlachos with conspiring to export approximately 100 handguns from the United States to Quebec without a munitions permit from the Department of State. Two counts charge Vlachos with exporting specific handguns without a permit and the remaining two counts charge Vlachos with possession of specific firearms in the United States while in alien status.

Specifically, the Indictment alleges that from July 2010 to April 2011, Vlachos, working with Annette Wexler and another co-conspirator, bought approximately 100 handguns from multiple licensed gun dealers in Florida. In purchasing these guns, the Indictment alleges that Annette Wexler and another co-conspirator falsely stated on the ATF forms they were the true owners of the firearms when they were actually purchasing these firearms on behalf of Vlachos with the intention of smuggling the firearms into Quebec. In addition, the Indictment alleges that on March 25, 2011, Wexler and a co-conspirator traveled to Derby Line, Vermont with multiple handguns and hid a small backpack containing these handguns in the bathroom of the Haskell Free Library. Vlachos, who entered the Library after walking from Quebec, went into the bathroom, retrieved the backpack containing the handguns, exited the library, and walked back into Quebec without going through the port-of-entry.

Annette Wexler previously pled guilty to conspiring to make false statements to licensed gun dealers and unlawful exportation. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 25, 2017 in Brattleboro, Vermont before United States District Judge J. Garvan Murtha.

At his initial appearance in the United States on June 5, 2017, Vlachos pled not guilty to the charges and did not contest continued detention until trial. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered that Vlachos be remanded into the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending trial.

The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty. If he is convicted, Vlachos faces a maximum possible term of imprisonment of twenty years. However, the actual sentence in the event of a conviction will be determined pursuant to the advisory federal sentencing guidelines and the federal statutory sentencing factors.

The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Perella. Vlachos is represented by Paul Volk, Esq. of Burlington. Wexler is represented by Robert Katims, Esq. of Burlington. This case was jointly investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Homeland Security Investigations of the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Surete du Quebec provided assistance.

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