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BENNINGTON >> Two Bennington women are facing felony charges alleging that they sold a depressant drug to a resident at the Vermont Veterans Home.

Jessica M. Walsh, 36, and Karen Maxham, 43, pleaded not guilty as co-defendants Monday in Vermont Superior Court to sale of a depressant. They were released under the conditions they not contact the person they allegedly sold to.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer James A. Gulley Jr., on Oct. 2 he went to the Vermont Veterans Home to speak with the Home's Administrator, Melissa Jackson, and Allan M. Faxon, the Home's chief operations officer. They told police that a resident had tested positive for an illegal narcotic that was not prescribed to him. Jackson said the drug was crystal methamphetamine and gave police a list of three people that visit the resident, two of them being Walsh and Maxham.

Faxon, Gulley, and Jackson, spoke with the resident who denied using crystal methamphetamine or any other "hard drug." He said on the first of every month, when he receives his Veterans Administration funds, he buys "10-15 benzo's" which Gulley said is otherwise known as Clonazepam — Brand name Klonopin — from Maxham and Walsh. The resident said he pays $5 per pill.

Court records did not indicate that the resident was charged with a crime. He said the third person that visits him does not provide him with drugs.

Gulley then went and spoke to Maxham and Walsh. He learned that Walsh has a prescription for Klonopin. She denied selling any of her prescriptions.

Both declined to give a statement to police, and at Jackson's request were issued orders against trespass at the Vermont Veterans Home.

— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115


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