Man wanted after January drug sweep charged Monday
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | March 08,2013
BENNINGTON — A local man, who was one of about 60 people sought in a drug sweep from January, is being held in the Rutland jail after being arrested last Friday and arraigned on more than 20 felony charges, many of them for selling drugs.
Donald W. Hurley, 20, of Bennington, was also arraigned on two new misdemeanor charges in Rutland criminal court Monday based on the circumstances of his arrest.
Deputy State’s Attorney Robert Plunkett said that from the drug sweep which took place Jan. 16, Hurley was facing one of the longest list of criminal charges. Police believe that he was responsible for much of the sale of cocaine in the Bennington area from the time they were conducting the investigation that culminated in the drug sweep.
According to Plunkett, Hurley was in a drug treatment center on Jan. 16 but after leaving the center, he went missing until officers at the Bennington Police Department received information about his location last week.
As they had with others who were arrested in connection with the drug sweep, which Col. Thomas L’Esperance, director of the Vermont State Police, called Jan. 16 the largest police operation in Vermont’s history, prosecutors prepared the charges against Hurley on Jan. 16. They included seven felony counts of selling cocaine, two felony charges of selling heroin and seven felony counts of conspiracy to sell drugs.
In affidavits filed to support charges against Hurley, police said that he was involved in drug sales in September, October and November that police were able to monitor.
On Jan. 18, a warrant was issued for Hurley’s arrest. Lt. Lloyd Dean of the Bennington Police Department, said in a press release that police received information about 6:30 p.m. March 1 that Hurley was at a home on Gage Street.
Officers from the Bennington Police Department were sent to the home to arrest Hurley based on the warrant issued as a result of the drug sweep. While officers were speaking with the people who lived there, Hurley fled from the rear of the apartment.
Bennington Police Officer Robert Murawski was stationed at the rear of the apartment. In an affidavit, Murawski said he chased Hurley, telling him to stop until Hurley fell down and Murawski took him into custody.
After being held in the Rutland jail over the weekend, Hurley was arraigned in Rutland criminal court on Monday on the 24 charges resulting from the undercover drug operation, which included two misdemeanor charges of cocaine possession, and the new misdemeanor charges of heroin possession and resisting arrest.
Murawski said in his affidavit that Hurley had a needle in his possession when he was arrested Friday. The substance inside the needle tested positive for heroin, police said.
Hurley, who pleaded innocent to the charges, was ordered held without bail.