A Montréal man has been indicted on charges that he led a firearms smuggling operation that involved concealing handguns in the bathroom of Derby Line's Haskell Free Library, which straddles the U.S.-Canada border.
Authorities recently extradited Alexis Vlachos, 40, from Québec to Vermont, where earlier this month he pleaded not guilty to five firearms charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. He is being held in prison pending trial and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Vlachos imported 100 handguns into Québec without a permit from the U.S. State Department, prosecutors said.
Working with two coconspirators, Vlachos allegedly bought 100 handguns from licensed dealers in Florida. The indictment alleges that his coconspirators falsely claimed on federal forms that they owned the weapons, when they actually bought them for Vlachos.
In March 2011, the coconspirators traveled to Vermont and left several firearms in the bathroom at the library, which is famously bisected by the international border, prosecutors said.
Vlachos allegedly walked to the library from Québec, grabbed the guns and walked back into Canada without going through a border checkpoint, prosecutors said.
Vlachos' attorney, Paul Volk, did not respond to a request for comment.