The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Jose Ygnacio Sosa-Ramirez, 55, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced yesterday for illegally re-entering the United States after having been previously removed, and violating the terms of his supervised release on a prior federal conviction. Chief District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Sosa-Ramirez to a 50-month term of incarceration for having illegally re-entered the United States, and a consecutive 24-month term of incarceration for violating the terms of his supervised release, resulting in a total sentence of 74 months.

According to Court records, in June of 2014, Sosa-Ramirez was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, sentenced to time served (approximately 23 months), and a 2-year term of supervised release. He was subsequently deported from the United States on October 8, 2014. On October 19, 2015, Sosa-Ramirez entered the United States at the Highgate Port of Entry in Highgate Springs, Vermont, as a passenger aboard a Greyhound Bus. Sosa-Ramirez presented the Customs and Border Protection Officer an official United States passport in the name of Walter Kahigas. The Customs and Border Protection Officer referred Sosa-Ramirez to secondary inspection, after discovering a database alert associated with that identity. Sosa-Ramirez subsequently admitted the Walter Kahigas passport was obtained through fraudulent statements. Investigation of Sosa-Ramirez’s criminal history revealed he had nine prior felony convictions, including convictions for gun trafficking, document fraud, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

United States Attorney Eric S. Miller commended the efforts of United States Customs and Border Protection, in the arrest and prosecution of Sosa-Ramirez.

Sosa-Ramirez was represented by Bradley Stetler, Esq. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt.


By Courier Staff

St. Albans: The Green Mountain Care Board will allow prices at hospitals to go up an average of 1.8 percent in the upcoming fiscal year, but will hold Northwestern Medical Center’s rates alone.

The board, which regulates hospitals’ budgets and insurance prices, finished approving the prices for Vermont’s 14 hospitals Thursday. The board’s accountants are still calculating how much revenue those new prices will take in.nmc-hospital

The results leave $2.4 billion in hospital budgets largely unchanged. Even though numerous hospitals took in more money for care than they were supposed to in 2015 or are expected to do so in 2016, none will be forced to decrease how much they charge insurance companies starting Oct. 1. Continue reading “REGULATORS LEAVE NMC MEDICAL RATES UNCHANGED”


By Gregory J. Lamoureux

SOUTH BURLINGTON: When the United State Airforce Thunderbirds came to Vermont last month, they did something rather unusual- Instead of giving a ride to a local celebrity the way they normally do, they decided to give a ride to a local hero.

A contest was born. Appoint a local hero in your community that deserves the ride of their life.

Fast forward a couple of weeks; Alex Paci was at home watching the ABC/Fox news when he heard his name.

He didn’t know it, but Paci’s wife had nominated him for the ride.

For Paci, he was shocked. Continue reading “FAIRFAX MAN RIDES WITH THUNDERBIRDS”


By Gregory J. Lamoureux

ST. ALBANS: An Early Thursday Morning raid last week caught three cocaine dealers, including one that was wanted by Burlington Police for a felony assault charge.

All three defendants claim to reside in Philidelphia, according to Court records.

Around 6 am on Thursday, police from St. Albans Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, and State Police raided the three-story home located at 42 Federal Street in St. Albans City, according to court records. The home is located behind Boston Tailoring & Cleaners on Federal Street. Continue reading “POLICE: COCAINE RING BUSTED”


By Gregory J. Lamoureux

Enosburg Falls: The Village of Enosburg is a bit of a conundrum. The project to renovate a 70-year-old turbine has run aground on financial concerns.

According to Village Manager, Jonathan Elwell, the lowest bid to renovate the aging turbine came in about 50% over budget.

That lowest bidder, Kingsbury Companies out of Waitsfield, came in significantly lower than the second or third place bidders, so rebidding the project may not be a good alternative, although it is an option, according to Elwell.

In March voters opted to invest $2.1 million into the Village generating facility. That money, in part, was intended to upgrade the turbine that generates much of the area’s power. Continue reading “COST ESTIMATES FAR EXCEED ESTIMATES”



By Gregory J. Lamoureux

MONTGOMERY: Voters in the Town of Montgomery are at odds whether to build a new town clerk’s office. The current building is inadequate to the needs of the town, says proponent and Selectman Scott Perry.

Also, a select board member, Sarah Silva, looks at the proposal as a frivolous expense for voters.

At odds between the two sides is a little-known Vermont law that raises almost as many questions as it answers. Continue reading “MURKY LEGAL WORDING COMPLICATES UPCOMING VOTE”


State Police say they caught a fugitive from justice after a traffic stop on Tuesday morning.

Police pulled Danny Davis, 52, of Winooski over for “a minor motor vehicle violation.” During that encounter, police say they discovered Davis was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.

Police say they arrested Davis for the DUI Charge, but while processing him discovered that the name that he had given them earlier in the evening- wasn’t his real name.

“After determining his correct name it was found that the defendant had two outstanding warrants” State Trooper Andrew Collier said in a statement.

He was taken to Northwest Correctional Center, pending arraignment on the two warrants. His DUI court date is expected be on Monday.


Border Patrol Agents were checking out a suspicious vehicle, bearing Texas license plates, driving on the Slide Road in Richford recently when they got more than the bargained for

According to a press release from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Texas resident Ellic Flores was driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Continue reading “TEXAS PLATES SOUND ALARM”


According to police, 21 year old Brianna Croteau of Montgomery fired a pistol during an alleged domestic situation on August 17th.

Court records show that a bullet was recovered next to a light switch of the residence.

The alleged assault occurred when Croteau shot at her father, Brian Croteau Sr. at their Enosburgh Mountain Road home. Continue reading “MONTGOMERY WOMAN SHOOTS AT FATHER”