BURLINGTON — A Milton man who had operated a large marijuana growing site in Swanton was sentenced this Friday to two years in prison.
Kyle S. Lamothe, 29, of Milton, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Lamothe had been using a Swanton residence on Lasnier Road to store, process and distribute marijuana and its related THC products since at least May of 2020. When federal authorities searched the house in November of 2020, they found 600 kilograms of plant material, over 270 kilograms of THC-infused products and $121,000 in cash, according to court documents.
Lamothe had been selling pounds of marijuana to his customers, and he received hundreds of pounds of the controlled substance from suppliers in Canada and the western United States, according to the release.
He had also been preparing thousands of THC-infused edibles in a lab facility located there. When the government searched the location, they found a rotary evaporator, vacuum pump and a recirculating chiller.
They also found four loaded firearms within reach of the bulk currency or controlled substances.
“While we acknowledge a qualitative difference between cannabis and more dangerous controlled substances, traffickers who possess large amounts of cannabis and currency attract violence. The guns encountered in this case are evidence of that connection,” Acting United States Attorney Jonathan Ophardt said in the press release.
Lamothe initially pleaded not guilty to four separate charges related to the incident in February of 2021. A plea agreement allowed him to plead guilty to a single violation.
He had faced up to 20 years for the crime.
On top of Lamothe's two year sentence, Chief District Judge Geoffrey Crawford ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine and be subject to three years of supervised release following his incarceration, the release states.
Lamothe’s case was jointly investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations and the Vermont State Police Narcotics Investigation Unit.
“The United States Attorney’s Office, working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of traffickers who profit from unregulated black markets and endanger the community” Ophardt said.
Lamothe told the court in February that he had attended Mill River Union High School in Clarendon, but he dropped out during his junior year, according to earlier reporting.
On Lamothe’s record, he has two other felony counts for knowingly and intentionally distributing marijuana. Both prior incidents were in 2020.