Prosecutors file new charges in Caraballo case
By Danelle Rivard
The Keene Sentinel | December 08,2012
A convicted drug dealer charged in connection with the death of a Brattleboro woman now faces two new charges.
Frank Caraballo, 31, of Holyoke, Mass., was indicted by a federal grand jury in Vermont Wednesday on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, plus two indictments already handed up for murder and drug trafficking conspiracy.
Caraballo possessed a Desert Eagle .357-caliber pistol in July 2011, which federal prosecutors say is connected with a drug trafficking scheme from about the same time, according to a new federal indictment.
Also, Caraballo possessed a Glock 9 mm pistol and an Intratec model Tec-9, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in addition to the .357-caliber pistol, according to the second indictment.
Caraballo is charged in connection with the murder of Melissa Barratt, 31, of Brattleboro in July 2011 while possessing a gun used in a drug trafficking conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont.
He is also charged in connection with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine between March and July 2011 in Brattleboro, according to court documents.
Caraballo is scheduled to be arraigned on the two new firearm charges on Dec. 19 at U.S. District Court in Rutland. A status conference on all four charges is also scheduled for Dec. 19.
Caraballo was initially charged with second-degree murder by the Windham County state’s attorney, but the charge was dismissed due to an ongoing federal drug and firearms investigation, according to court documents.
Caraballo accused Barratt of stealing drugs from his motel room in Brattleboro in 2011, according to court documents from the Vermont case.
When Barratt didn’t return the drugs, Caraballo and an alleged accomplice took Barratt to a rural Dummerston road where Caraballo shot her and then both men left her for dead, Vermont prosecutors said last year.
Police found Barratt’s body in a wooded area off East West Road in Dummerston on July 29, 2011.
The Vermont medical examiner’s office determined that Barratt died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to court documents.
Prosecutors said last year that Barratt had been in a romantic relationship with Caraballo.
Caraballo is currently serving a 16-year sentence in federal prison after he pleaded guilty in May to five counts of distributing cocaine in the Brattleboro area in July 2011, according to court documents.
Caraballo has four prior drug convictions — two out of New York for selling and possessing drugs and two out of Massachusetts for trafficking and possessing drugs with intent to distribute, according to court documents.