A couple denies crack, heroin dealing
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | February 05,2013
ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO
At left, Ronald “Hercules” Reddic, 54, was jailed Monday for lack of $50,000 bail after pleading innocent to drug charges. At right, Gina “GG” Roperti, 49, appears in criminal court in White River Junction to face drug charges on Monday.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A couple who allegedly boasted to customers they were “cleaning it up” on the local narcotics market because all of the biggest drug dealers in town “are either dead, in jail, or broke” were both in court Monday being arraigned on multiple counts of crack and heroin trafficking.
Gina “GG” Roperti, 49, and her husband Ronald “Hercules” Reddic, 54, were ordered held on bail amounts of $5,000 and $50,000 respectively after they entered innocent pleas to a slew of charges, some of which carry potential 30-year maximum sentences.
Assistant Attorney General Bob Menzel told Judge Robert Gerety that Roperti had been the focus of an intense investigation by the Vermont Drug Task Force that began in December and included three covert purchases of crack rocks from her by a cooperating individual who knew her only by her street nickname of “GG.”
Menzel said it was only when officers pulled the couple over on Friday in order to arrest Roperti that they patted down Reddic, who had been sitting in the passenger seat of the couple's car, and that was when they allegedly discovered that he had 197 bags of heroin hidden in his jacket. Police also seized three loaded handguns from the backseat of the Ford Escape, which had a Michigan handicapped plate. Menzel said that will result in federal charges against Reddic of an alleged felon in possession of a firearm.
Reddic has an extensive criminal record from Detroit, including convictions for armed robbery, but the couple has apparently been living quietly in the town of Andover for years before they suddenly came to the attention of detectives late last year.
A public defender representing Roperti at her arraignment Monday said Roperti had originally moved to Vermont a decade ago to take a job as sales director for a major central Vermont ski resort but in recent years she has been largely dealing with a series of health issues.
An affidavit filed with the court described the conversations that were recorded by police in which Roperti could allegedly be heard offering to “front” the cooperating informant more than a thousand dollars worth of crack if they were willing to sell it.
“GG told the (informant) that she wanted to see them get on their feet and start selling,” the affidavit said, adding, “(GG said) when (the informant) got bigger they would both get bigger.”
Armed with a search warrant, several troopers swooped in and pulled the couple over on Friday morning at the intersection of Davis and South streets. Police said when Roperti was ordered out of the car they observed five bags of what looked like heroin fall from her person onto the pavement before she was handcuffed.