Colchester man denies drug trafficking, fraud allegations in court

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COLCHESTER — Andrew Hollins, a Colchester, and New York City resident who has also used the name Andrew Jones, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Burlington.

The 36-year-old faces charges from two separate indictments, including narcotics trafficking, wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Doyle ordered Hollins detained until his trial, which is yet to be scheduled.

The charges stem from a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Burlington on December 13, 2022.

The indictment alleges that Hollins distributed cocaine on three separate occasions in late 2019.

Simultaneously, the grand jury returned a separate indictment charging Hollins with fraud, money laundering, and identity theft related to a series of pandemic-related Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications allegedly submitted to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in July and August 2020.

The indictment states that Hollins submitted eight fraudulent EIDL applications, supposedly on behalf of himself, two businesses he founded, two relatives, and three individuals whose identities he allegedly stole. Some of these applications were approved by the SBA while others were rejected.

The charges claim that the applications contained materially false information about the businesses, including their founding dates, gross receipts from the previous year, the number of employees, and physical locations.

The EIDL program provides low-interest loans to businesses and individuals suffering financial hardship due to natural disasters, such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

If found guilty on the drug charges, Hollins faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

The wire fraud charges could result in a further 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing would be determined in line with federal sentencing guidelines.

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