Nashua woman pleads guilty to drug trafficking
CONCORD – Autumn St. John, a 27-year-old Nashua resident who has also lived in Raymond and Lawrence, Massachusetts, and has been arrested several times on drug-related allegations, has entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court to drug trafficking, authorities said Thursday.
St. John, of 66 W. Hollis St., Apt. 6, is scheduled to be sentenced May 27, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Murray.
Murray didn’t say whether prosecutors and St. John have agreed on sentencing terms or how much prison time she could receive at the sentencing hearing.
A statement issued by Murray spokeswoman Dena Blanco said the case stems from two of St. John’s arrests on drug-sales charges, both of which occurred in Nashua.
In November 2018, according to the statement, a “cooperating individual” working with Nashua police purchased fentanyl from St. John. Several months later, in June 2019, a Nashua detective watched St. John make “a hand-to-hand sale” of fentanyl.
“After being arrested, St. John admitted that she had just sold drugs to a customer,” Murray said in the statement.
It appears from St. John’s case file at Hillsborough County Superior Court-South in Nashua that federal authorities took over the prosecution of St. John in October.
“Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that is damaging lives throughout New Hampshire,” Murray said. “Through Operation S.O.S., we are working with the Nashua Police Department and all of our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who are distributing fentanyl and other deadly drugs in Hillsborough County.”
He referred to Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge, an initiative created in July 2018 by then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “combat the large number of overdoses and deaths associated with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.”
In January 2016, St. John, then 22, was found not guilty on one count each of accomplice to robbery and accomplice to theft, which accused her of acting as the getaway driver for a man who allegedly robbed a Stratham bank in 2015.
Since then, according to archives and her court files, St. John, in June 2016, was charged with possession of drugs when she was one of 36 people arrested in Lawrence as part of regional law enforcement initiative called “Operation Blue Crush.”
Two months later, she was charged in Lawrence with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and providing a false name to police.
And in May 2019, she was charged in Nashua with one misdemeanor count of theft.
Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, or at email@example.com.