Bennington woman will plead guilty to firearms charge

RUTLAND — A Bennington woman has agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge that she traded drugs and a firearm for cash during a controlled purchase in 2016, court records show.

The deal, in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Bennington Recreation Center, was set up over the phone and through text messages between Stone and the confidential informant, records show.

Amy Stone, 49, would plead guilty to a felony charge of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances, according to the plea agreement. She would admit she traded 10 bags of heroin and a Hi-Point 40-caliber pistol to a confidential informant for $670 on Aug. 11, 2016.

Stone admits "she regularly used opiate-based controlled substances and occasionally used cocaine," her signed eight-page plea agreement notes. That drug conduct made Stone ineligible to possess a firearm under federal law.

Stone is due to formally change her plea on Monday before Chief Federal Judge Geoffrey Crawford in Rutland. Crawford is expected to order a presentence investigation.

Stone faces a possible prison term of up to 10 years on the gun charge followed by up to three years of supervised release. She also faces up to a $250,000 fine.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Stone also forfeits any claim to the firearm.

The case stem from a joint investigation by the Vermont Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into illegal drug trafficking in Bennington County.

A federal grand jury indicted Stone on July 19 on charges of being an unlawful user of controlled substances while possessing a handgun. She faced a second count of distributing heroin, also from the 2016 incident.

The felony charges were sealed until she could be arrested on July 31. Stone denied the charges the following day when she was arraigned before Magistrate John M. Conroy in Burlington.

Conroy freed Stone on conditions, restricting her travel to Vermont and Massachusetts and blocking her from having contact with any government witnesses. Conroy also ordered Stone not to possess any firearms and to refrain from any alcohol or drugs.

Under the terms of the plea arrangement, Stone agrees to refrain from committing any new crimes. She also agrees to provide the court a personal financial statement and supporting documents on her ability to pay a fine.

The government also agrees not to prosecute Stone for other crimes known to prosecutors involving guns and controlled substances.


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