Vermont business owner who admitted to marijuana, gun charges sentenced

Robert Layman

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont business owner who pleaded guilty to federal drug conspiracy and gun charges was sentenced Monday to more than two years in prison.

Derek Spilman, owner of Good Times Gallery in Burlington, was arrested in January after police said they received complaints from a neighboring business that high school-aged kids were seen leaving Spilman's tobacco shop with marijuana.

Spilman accepted a plea agreement in August to charges including knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute marijuana, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiracy to corrupt, influence, and impede an official proceeding.

Spilman was sentenced to 29 months in prison with credit for time served, followed by three years of supervised release. He has also been ordered to enroll in a mental health program and take drug tests when he's released.


Spilman enlisted a family member to take the blame for the crime and then lied to the court, a judge said at Spilman's sentencing hearing. Spilman also attempted to intimidate witnesses by spreading feces on the door of the neighboring business that reported him to police.

At the sentencing hearing, Spilman’s legal team said he changed for the better during the eight months he served in prison. Spilman also apologized to the court, his family, and the Burlington community.