Friday January 18, 2013

BENNINGTON -- Four additional suspects were taken into custody Wednesday night following a day-long roundup of suspected drug dealers, according to police.

More than 100 police officers from several police agencies in Bennington County, as well as the Vermont State Police, conducted what is believed to be the largest counter-drug operation in Vermont history on Wednesday. Police, many wearing tactical gear, arrested 48 of the 63 alleged drug dealers they targeted during the day Wednesday.

Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said officers arrested Joel Millington at his place of work on Northside Drive Wednesday night. Millington was sought for three counts each of possession and sale of marijuana.

Additional suspects opted to turn themselves in to police, Doucette said.

News outlets, including the Bennington Banner, began reporting on social media and news websites about the massive police activity Wednesday morning. Word began to reverberate throughout the community that suspected drug dealers were being targeted, Doucette said.

"Others saw the news and decided it would be better to turn themselves in," he said.

According to Doucette, Bernard Nelson and Julia Humphreys, both from Bennington, are being charged with possession and sale of marijuana. Kari Parker, also from Bennington, is being charged with selling OxyContin and possession of a regulated narcotic.

More suspects remain at large, however. Doucette said his department will continue to seek them.

"We are hoping that they turn themselves in the next day or so. Or, the plan would be to go to the state’s attorney and seek an arrest warrant," he said.