Davila found guilty


BRATTLEBORO - A jury found a Springfield, Mass. man guilty of two counts of selling heroin in the Brattleboro area, and he could spend up to 30 years in prison.

Julio Davila, 33, was found guilty, late Friday, of participating in the sale or dispensing of 200 milligrams or more of heroin, and of aiding in the sale or dispensing of one gram or more of heroin.

The jury returned its verdict Friday night following a four-day trial in Windham Superior Court.

Davila was facing four charges following a lengthy operation by the Southeastern Vermont Drug Task Force that included a series of controlled buys in West Brattleboro and Dummerston.

"The jury worked long and hard over the course of a complicated, four-day trial," said Windham County Deputy State's Attorney David Gartenstein. "We thank the members of the jury for their work and respect their decision."

The jury met into the night Friday, Gartenstein said, asking questions and watching videos of the controlled buys that were made by the Vermont State Police.

The trial opened on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Davila was being held since his arrest on Feb. 6, 2013 on $50,000 bail and Judge David Suntag increased that amount to $100,000 following his conviction.

Davila now awaits sentencing for the two felony convictions and Gartenstein said he could receive up to 30 years in prison for his role in the heroin sales.

Davila traveled up to Windham County from the Holyoke-Springfield, Mass. area between December 2012 and February 2013, the evidence showed, and took part in a a series of drug transactions that were under surveillance of the State Police drug task force.

The first three transactions took place off of Western Avenue while the final, and largest, sale happened outside the Exit 4 Sunoco gas station on the Dummerston-Putney town line.

The drug sale at the gas station included 160 bags of heroin.

Following the sale at the Sunoco station police stopped Davila and Brattleboro resident Joshua Hartwell. Davila had $1,100 in cash that had been marked by the Southeastern Vermont Drug Task Force while Hartwell had 40 bags of heroin and a $100 marked bill.

The trial was held in the same week that Gov. Peter Shumlin gave his State of the State address that focused exclusively on the growing problem of opiate addiction in Vermont.

Informants during the trial talked about their challenges in dealing with drug addiction, including the difficulty in finding treatment, Gartenstein said.

"The evidence at the trial strongly showed the damage caused in our community by heroin use," said Gartenstein. "A confidential informant talked about his heroin use, and the damage and injury it caused in his life, which was consistent with what Gov. Shumlin said in his State of the State address."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 279, or hwtisman@reformer.com.


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