The Vermont Drug Task Force says it has arrested 59 people in a weeks-long drug sweep, three of them are from central Vermont. Seventeen of them were in Rutland County.

According to a news release, those arrested were charged with selling and distributing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine as well as other crimes.

“The Drug Task Force conducts hundreds of investigations annually into various levels of illegal drug activity and is committed to aggressively pursuing those people who sell or distribute these poisonous drugs, or who aid individuals who are selling them,” the release stated. “These drugs are dangerous to the person taking them and invite violence into our communities.

“At the same time, the Vermont State Police is equally committed to helping individuals find treatment for their addiction, and to assisting them on their path to recovery. During this operation, the task force partnered with the Vermont Department of Health to provide information on treatment and recovery services to those who have a drug dependency.”

The vast majority of those arrested were from the southern or northern part of the state.

Seventeen of the arrests were in Rutland County, most in the city.

Zachary Lapoint, 29, and Theodore Thompson, 44, both of Rutland, along with 45-year-old Todd Dayton of Granville, New York, were charged with one count each of sale of crack cocaine.

Lucas Gagnon, 35, and David Stearns, 27, of Rutland; Whitney Carmen, 28 and Joshua Cave, 42, of Tinmouth, and Camilo Matus, 36, and Felix Colon, 21, of Waterbury, Connecticut, each face one charge of sale of heroin.

Other defendants from the city of Rutland include 33-year-old Sara Muzzy (two charges of selling heroin), 36-year-old Jennifer Loso (three charges of selling heroin), 38-year-old Joshua Reed (four charges of selling heroin, one of possessing crack), 31-year-old Michael Shively (one charge each of selling heroin, selling crack and possessing heroin), 31-year-old Cassandra Johnson (one charge each of selling heroin, possessing crack and possessing fentanyl), 48-year-old Steven Stone (four charges of selling crack)

Brittany Fields, 27, of Rutland, had the most diverse collection of charges, with one each for selling heroin, selling crack and possessing crack along with two for violating her conditions of release.

Outside the city, Brian Bruso, 60, of Fair Haven, is facing two charges of selling heroin.

Three of the arrests were from central Vermont.

Earlier this month Eldin Kamberovic, 30, of Montpelier, pleaded not guilty in Washington County criminal court in Barre to felony counts of trafficking and selling fentanyl, and a misdemeanor count of violating conditions of release. If convicted, Kamberovic faces a maximum sentence of 50½ years in prison. He was ordered held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury on 10,000 bail.

According to its affidavit, the task force started an investigation in April into the distribution of fentanyl in Washington County. The task force said the target of the investigation was Kamberovic.

The task force said it set up a controlled buy using a cooperating individual. The individual was given money by the task force and bought 236.7 milligrams of a substance that field tested positive for fentanyl, according to court records.

Jayvian W. Poitras, 19, of East Barre, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony count of narcotic possession and a misdemeanor count of possession of stolen property. If convicted, Poitras faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison. He was released on conditions.

The task force said in its affidavit for that case prescription medication was reported stolen from the UPS facility in Berlin. It said UPS reported multiple packages had been stolen from the facility.

The task force said it spoke to an employee at UPS who reported she had interviewed Poitras and he had admitted to stealing the packages.

Poitras agreed to let the task force search his car and his bedroom where it found multiple prescription medications valuing about $200, according to court records.

Santos DeJesus, 28, of Barre, pleaded not guilty last month to a felony count of selling cocaine. If convicted, DeJesus faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He was released on conditions.

In the affidavit for that case, the task force said it started an investigation in January into cocaine distribution in Washington County with the focus being DeJesus. The task force said it used a cooperating individual for a controlled buy from DeJesus. The individual was given money, met with DeJesus and returned with a substance that weighed nearly a gram and field tested positive for cocaine.

The additional arrests included: Alexya Garcia, 27, of Bennington, on a charge of selling heroin; Abbie Harrington, 23, of Bennington, on a charge of selling heroin; Michael Allard, 33, of Bennington, on a charge of selling heroin; John Chapman, 27, of Bennington, on two counts of selling heroin; Bradley Haynes, 29, of Bennington, on two counts of selling heroin; Daniel Silverman, 48, of Brattleboro, on a charge of selling heroin; Nathan Hazlett, 46, of Brattleboro, on two counts of selling heroin and one count of selling crack cocaine; Sylvester Little, 45, of Brattleboro, on a count of selling crack cocaine; Billy Jo Wilder, 43, of Putney, on a count of selling heroin; Dean Gero, 52, of Brattleboro, on a count of selling heroin; Trent Johnson, of Brattleboro, on a count of selling crack cocaine; Kimberley Morgan, 31, of Brattleboro, on a count of selling crack cocaine; Marshall Dean, 58, of Brattleboro, on a count of selling heroin; Holly Magnuson, 26, on two counts of selling crack cocaine; Scott Haselton, 52, of Brattleboro, on a count of selling crack cocaine.

In addition, Eric Fortune, 34, of Bellows Falls, was charged with selling heroin; Kari Reilly, 37, of Guilford, was charged with three counts of selling heroin and one count of selling crack cocaine; Kyle Arie, 34, of Springfield, faces a count of selling heroin; Peter Garrett, 32, of Brattleboro, for the sale of crack cocaine; Bobby Bethune, 19, of Brattleboro, faces two counts of selling crack cocaine; Jorge Delaoz, 50, of Brattleboro, faces two counts of selling heroin; Corey Archer, 39, of Newfane, faces a count of selling crack cocaine; Reginald French, 53, of Winchester, faces three counts of selling heroin; Aaron Camp, 30, of Newport, faces one count of selling heroin and two counts of selling crack cocaine; Monica Capron, 40, of Newport, faces two counts of selling fentanyl; Meagan Blake, 31, of Coventry, faces five counts of selling crack cocaine and one count of selling heroin; Kayla Wright, 25, of Newport, faces one count each of selling heroin and crack cocaine; Kassandra Medellin-Oliver, 32, of Newport, faces three counts of selling heroin; Justin Morgan, 27, of Newport, faces two counts of selling crack cocaine; Erik Polite, 39, of Newport, faces a count of selling crack cocaine; Edwin R. Mejia, 40, of New Britain, Connecticut, faces three counts of selling crack cocaine; Corey Green, 45, of Orleans, faces two counts of selling crack cocaine and one count of selling heroin; Brooke Rowell, 36, of Burlington, faces four counts of violation of conditions of release, a count of sale of a non-controlled substance as controlled, and three counts of selling crack cocaine; Justin Barlow, 27, of Springfield, faces four counts of selling crack cocaine.

In addition, Ashley Penniman, 35, of Newport, faces a charge of selling crack cocaine; Allen Marsh, 50, of Newport, faces four counts of selling crack cocaine; Charles Lambert, 41, no address given, was charged with three counts of selling crack cocaine; David Godin, 39, of Burlington, faces one count of selling crack cocaine; and Franklin Estevez, 27, no address given, faces two counts of selling crack cocaine and two counts of selling heroin.

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(4) comments

lmagnani

I can't imagine how much it must cost the state to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and imprison 59 people. Would all that money be better spent on education, safe injection sites and rehab sites, counseling or whatever. Focus on those addicted instead of the endless supply of providers. Is Vermont any better off for having arrested 59?

Amy Nevada

Rehab and safe injections on what planet do you live on wake up to reality so you like people to do heroin and other drugs in an injection side looks like you need help Anyway Rehab don't work the go to rehab come out and do the same thing the do best cracking, and your talking about spending the money for education people already pay way to much tax look around people are moving away from VT its the worst state to live in its called the heroin state in US,!!!

deerhunter358

No, it's not our job to "fix" them. Perhaps if Vt. would enforce the drug laws the vermin who sell them will take the hint that perhaps Vermont is not a good place to do their business. Mean while, enjoy the fine neighbors you have in your community!

Amy Nevada

[smile] Finely the cleaning up the streets VT is currently #1 heroin state in US, so many people are moving away from VT because of the heroin problem !!

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