BELLOWS FALLS — In the early morning hours of Oct. 27, Steven Lovely, Amanda Sanderson and Justin Orwat and his wife, Tami, spent "a considerable amount of time" at the home of Christopher Paige on School Street in Bellows Falls. While there, the four people consumed heroin, cocaine, bath salts, marijuana and Klonopin.
A few hours later, Lovely and Sanderson were dead of gunshot wounds. According to court documents, Lovely suspected Orwat of stealing drugs and money from him. After an argument, Orwat allegedly shot Lovely and Sanderson to death in the Townshend home where the four were living. Orwat, in an attempt to cover up his crime, set the Shirley Circle residence on fire, burning it to the ground.
On Tuesday, investigators from the Vermont Drug Task Force took Paige, 37, into custody on charges of heroin distribution. His girlfriend, Miranda Sevene, 23, was also taken into custody.
According to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, four days after the deaths of Lovely and Sanderson, a confidential informant purchased $300 worth of heroin from Paige in a sting conducted by the Vermont Drug Task Force. To firm up the case against Paige, the CI was outfitted with "a covert audio-recording device ... to record the controlled purchase of heroin."
When the CI visited Paige's School Street home, Paige was not home, stated court documents, but Sevene, who was there with woman identified as Corinna, called Paige on the phone. Sevene told Paige that Corinna is here with S2,000, I need another brick for other stuff, I do not have enough for everybody." Sevene added "Somebody is waiting at T-Bird ... Trey needs some." Paige told Sevene to go ahead and complete the purchase with the CI. Corinna then left Paige's apartment and went across the hall, where court documents state Paige's father lives, returning with 20 bags of heroin.
Prior to the purchase, the informant told investigators that Christopher Paige Sr. "lives across the hallway and that Paige keeps his heroin and cash in a safe located in the father's apartment."
On Nov. 2, investigators received more information that Sevene was selling heroin for Paige, according to court documents. That same day, the CI conducted a second controlled purchase of heroin, this time wearing an audio and video-recording device. In exchange for $240, the CI received 40 bags of heroin from Paige.
Upon review of the recording, detectives heard Paige making a phone call prior to the sale of heroin to the CI, in which he said "Is mom out of the shower? Can you come unlock the door?" Paige was observed by an investigator walking from his apartment to the apartment across the hall and then returning shortly thereafter. The drugs the CI presented to investigators contained heroin and fentanyl, according to court documents.
Paige and Seven are currently being held pending arraignment. According to court documents, the CI, who acknowledged a 10-bag-per-day heroin habit, agreed to work with investigators "in exchange for consideration on a pending criminal charge for the sale of heroin in the state of Vermont."
During the arrest of Paige and Sevene, the Vermont Drug Task Force was assisted by the Bellows Falls Police Department.
Orwat, who is being held at the Hamden County jail in Massachusetts on unrelated criminal charges, is expected to be arraigned in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division, on Monday, Dec. 18.
Bob Audette can be contacted at email@example.com.