Quebec man sentenced for smuggling U.S. guns through a free library
By Christen Smith
A black line on the floor marks the international border between the United States and Canada in the library at the Haskell Free Library and Opera House in Derby Line, Vt., Friday, June 22, 2007. (Photo: Toby Talbot/ AP)
A Quebec man faces four years in prison for smuggling more than 100 handguns across the U.S.-Canadian border.
District Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced 41-year-old Alexis Vlachos in a Vermont federal court Sept. 4, nine months after he first pleaded guilty to a five-count indictment for conspiracy, dealing without a license and violations of the Arms Export Control Act.
According to court documents, Vlachos and his co-conspirators, Annette Wexler and Jamie Ruiz, concocted a plan for trafficking 104 handguns into Canada by way of the Haskell Free Library — which straddles the border between Vermont and Quebec — between July 2010 and April 2011.
Wexler and Ruiz bought the firearms on multiple separate occasions from dealers in Tampa with money from Vlachos, according to the indictment, lying on federal gun background check forms for each transaction. Ruiz and Wexler then returned to Derby Line, Vermont and left the weapons inside a backpack hidden in the library’s bathroom. Vlachos retrieved the handguns from the library and