The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that David Laplante, 60, was sentenced today to time served, or 12 months in jail, by Chief Judge Geoffrey Crawford in United States District Court in Burlington, Vermont. Judge Crawford also imposed a three-year period of supervised release to be served after Laplante completes his jail sentence. Laplante had previously pleaded guilty to possessing a handgun as a convicted felon in October 2019. Laplante acknowledged in court he was using and dealing illegal bath salts at the time he possessed the handgun.
On October 19, 2019, Springfield police participated in a search of Laplante’s residence based on numerous complaints about drug trafficking. At the time, Laplante was on probation for a Vermont drug felony. During the search, officers found a loaded .357 handgun in Laplante’s beside table. Officers also found bath salts at the residence. Court records show that earlier in October Laplante had been arraigned in state court on a charge of possessing bath sales at the time of a car stop in July 2019. Laplante was arrested on the federal firearms charge on October 30, 2019 and held in jail pending his plea and sentence.
“I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for adopting this case and bringing charges against Mr. LaPlante,” stated Springfield Chief of Police Mark Fountain. “Mr. LaPlante had been selling bath salts for a period of time, which seriously affected quality-of-life issues within the community.”
The case resulted from the collaborative efforts of the Springfield Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Assistant United States Attorney Paul J. Van de Graaf represented the government. Laplante was represented by Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.