Vermont restaurant owner accused of ordering over 80 pounds of heroin from Guatemala

FILE PHOTO

BENNINGTON Co., Vt. (NEWS10) – Officials say a Bennington County pizza shop owner was arrested for allegedly having more than 80 lbs. of heroin delivered to his restaurant.

Authorities say 42-year-old Lam Peralta of South Londonderry, Vermont was arrested earlier this week after an arrest warrant was issued by the U.S. District Court for an investigation into heroin distribution.

This case relates to Homeland Security’s October 2015 seizure in Miami of a shipment from Guatemala containing more than 40 kilograms of heroin. The shipment was destined for an address in Manchester Center, Vermont.

In 2015 police say they arrested Mejia Paredes when he took delivery of that shipment. He was charged for possession with intent to sell more than a kilogram of heroin. That prosecution is pending.

Officials say Mejia Paredes was working with Lam Peralta in connection with the intercepted shipment, as well as previous shipments from Guatemala which law enforcement says had heroin in them.

“The arrest of Mr. Lam Peralta is the result of extraordinary effort by, and cooperation among, DEA, HSI, VSP, and USBP. I am once again pleased to see our federal and State partners working so closely together to stem the flow of heroin into Vermont,” said the U.S. Attorney.

Lam Peralta made his initial appearance in court and was ordered to the United States Marshal’s Service to wait on a detention hearing scheduled for Monday.

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