Good Times Gallery Owner Agrees to Plea Deal | Off Message

Good Times Gallery Owner Agrees to Plea Deal

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Good Times owner Derek Spilman being detained by Burlington Police - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Good Times owner Derek Spilman being detained by Burlington Police
Good Times Gallery owner Derek Spilman pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and gun charges stemming from a January drug bust at his former Church Street shop in exchange for a prison sentence of up to three years.

As part of his plea agreement, Spilman would also forfeit $50,000 in proceeds from the under-the-table marijuana business he ran from his head shop across Church Street from Burlington City Hall.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss said she would decide whether to accept the agreement at a December sentencing hearing.



Spilman, 44, was initially charged with distributing pot and possessing a gun while doing so. But as the case was pending, he and two of his family members racked up charges of intimidating a witness. Prosecutors said Spilman smeared dog feces on a neighboring storefront and asked a relative to take the fall.

Spilman's nephew, Derek Aviles, testified in February on behalf of his uncle that Aviles committed the vandalism. He even displayed the jacket worn at the time. But surveillance video appeared to show that Spilman was the one who did it, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Spilman also pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct the earlier judicial hearing — a charge that carried a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The January raid occurred as Seven Days prepared to publish a story about Spilman's illicit pot business, which operated for months before federal agents acted.
The feds have subsequently cracked down on another Burlington business for selling weed. Ridin' High owners John Van Hazinga and Samantha Steady were indicted last week on charges that they grew marijuana at their home and sold it from their skate shop across the street from Battery Park.
Steady's attorney criticized the government for using its resources to investigate and prosecute pot dealers.

Ridin' High has remained open. Good Times Gallery closed. 

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