Vermont Man Gets 5- to 10-Year Sentence for Maple Syrup Theft

A man convicted of stealing maple syrup has been sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison.

Stephen R. Bain, 53, was formally accused of possessing stolen syrup and possession of marijuana. He got a two- to five-year sentence for the drug conviction.

District Court Judge Katherine Hayes, who said Bain had lived a "lifestyle of theft and dishonesty," could have sentenced him to as much as life under the state's habitual offender law.

Bain was charged with taking syrup from Dwight Miller's store in Dummerston after police learned that 900 pounds, or 75 gallons, of syrup had been sold by Bain to a farm in New Hampshire for $1,300.

Bain told Hayes he was guilty of earlier crimes for which he was convicted, including drug offenses, larceny and possession of stolen property. But he accused the Windham County Sheriff's Department of planting the marijuana in his home that led to the current charges.

The judge rejected the argument. She said there was "overwhelming and extremely strong" evidence that led to his conviction, not all of it provided by sheriff's deputies.