PLATTSBURGH — A Constable woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision for her part in a large-scale marijuana distribution conspiracy.

Following a three-day trial in January, Stacie Demers, 54, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute a controlled substance, along with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, according to a Department of Justice press release.


Evidence showed Demers, who lived on the Canadian border in Constable, worked with members of her family and other co-conspirators to smuggle thousands of kilograms of marijuana from Canada into the United States.

After the loads crossed the border, Demers would store the marijuana in a shed behind her home and in other places, the release said.

Drivers then picked up the marijuana and brought it to street-level dealers throughout the eastern United States.

Demers took part in the crime for more than a decade, the Department of Justice said earlier.


She was one of seven people arrested in connection with the conspiracy in November 2013.

Robert Swartenburg of Saugerties, along with Archie Rafter and James McLernon, initially faced the same charges as Demers.

They all later pleaded to the sole count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute a controlled substance, according to online court records accessed through PACER.

Rafter was sentenced in February to 63 months in prison, five years of post-release supervision and payment of a $15,000 fine.

The next month, Swartenburg was sentenced to 37 months in prison and three years of post-release supervision, while McLernon was ordered to serve three years of probation, the records say.

Rafter is incarcerated at Moshannon Valley Correctional Center, where he will remain until May 21, 2018, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate lookup.

And Swartenburg, at U.S. Penitentiary, Canaan, also in Pennsylvania, will be imprisoned until Jan. 14, 2019.


Demers's father, Lee Smith of Constable; Andrew Schueppel; and Ralph Dumas were charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Smith died in July 2015.

In May 2014, Dumas accepted a plea agreement. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2017, according to PACER.

A jury trial for Schueppel was scheduled to begin in March 2015 and is listed as terminated on July 23, 2015, his record says.

U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced Demers's sentencing.

The DEA, State Police and U.S. Border Patrol investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine E. Kopita and Cyrus P.W. Rieck.  

Email Cara Chapman:

Twitter: @PPR_carachapman

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