DERBY LINE — A Quebec man was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment for smuggling over 100 handguns to Quebec, some of which passed through the Haskell Free Library in Derby Line.
Alexis Vlachos, 41, of Montreal, previously pled guilty to conspiring to export, and actually exporting, firearms from the United States to Canada without a license.
According to court records, Vlachos agreed that from July 2010 to April 2011, he and defendants Annette Wexler and Jaime Ruiz executed a plan to smuggle the guns purchased in Florida by way of northern Vermont and northeast New York.
As part of the conspiracy, Vlachos would usually take custody of the firearms in Quebec, where he sold many of them.
Some of the firearms smuggled were first brought to the Haskell Free Library in Derby Line, by Wexler and Ruiz.
The Haskell Free Library building straddles the international border of Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec.
On at least two occasions, Wexler and Ruiz worked together to stash several firearms contained in small backpacks inside the trashcan of the library bathroom.
Wexler then coordinated with Vlachos, who had entered the library from Quebec, to retrieve the firearms from the bathroom.
Vlachos then transported the firearms to Quebec, where he sold many of them.
Annette Wexler previously pled guilty to conspiring to make false statements to licensed gun dealers and unlawful exportation. She was sentenced to time served and two years of supervised release.
Ruiz also pled guilty to two offenses relating to this smuggling conspiracy. He passed away due to an illness, and the charges against him were dismissed.
Vlachos was originally charged with these offenses in January 2015, but the process of extraditing him to the United States took over two years to complete.
Vlachos faced a maximum possible term of imprisonment of twenty years.