New London Police & Communications

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Vermont Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Firearm Charges

            CONCORD – United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced that Nicholas J. Patten, 27, of Williston, Vermont pleaded guilty on Tuesday to drug trafficking and firearms charges.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 11, 2018, a New London police officer stopped to assist a motorist and observed the defendant slumped down in the driver’s seat.  The officer also observed several needles, three rubber tourniquets, a syringe, and white powder on the defendant’s jeans and on the center console of the vehicle.  The defendant woke up and began to thrash about the vehicle screaming things like “Help,” “I’m drowning,” and “I’m trapped.”  The defendant later admitted that he used cocaine and stated that he did not know what he was on.  The police later executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found  approximately 191.8 grams of cocaine.  The police also found $4420 in cash and a loaded Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter pistol, as well as fentanyl, oxycodone, and other smaller amounts of cocaine within the vehicle.    

            Patten pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.  He will be sentenced on May 13, 2019.

            “Drug trafficking and firearms are a potentially lethal combination,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “I commend the New London officers whose quick thinking helped to protect the community from harm.  We will continue to partner with our law enforcement colleagues to protect the Granite State from drug trafficking and violent crime.”

            The matter was investigated by the New London Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force also assisted in the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Debra M. Walsh is prosecuting the case.

            The case is part of ATF’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is a federally-funded program intended to reduce gun violence through law enforcement training, public education, and aggressive law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute gun-related crimes.  

Project Safe Neighborhoods
USAO - New Hampshire
Press Release Number: 
Updated January 30, 2019