BENNINGTON — Two Pownal residents pleaded not guilty Monday to accusations they paid a teenager with marijuana for shoveling their driveways.
Cory Saddlemire, 40, and Annette Mayer, 61, are separately charged with dispensing marijuana to a person under 21 years old. It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail.
Saddlemire is also facing a charge of violating conditions of release on two earlier criminal cases, court documents show.
The charges were filed after a mom reported that her 14-year-old son became pale and started throwing up from smoking marijuana, according to a sworn statement by Vermont State Police.
The teenage boy reportedly admitted receiving a blunt from Saddlemire on Dec. 19, when Saddlemire’s snowblower wouldn’t work and he asked the boy to shovel his driveway. Police described the blunt — a cigar that has been hollowed out and filled with marijuana — as approximately 6 inches long.
When confronted by troopers, Saddlemire denied giving the boy marijuana, according to the police affidavit. Saddlemire said he paid the boy with cash and wouldn’t jeopardize getting back custody of his son by giving marijuana to a minor.
Saddlemire apparently told investigators that Mayer, another resident of his mobile park, had been giving marijuana to young people in the neighborhood all summer.
The 14-year-old boy also told state police that Mayer had given him loose, ground marijuana in exchange for shoveling her driveway on Dec. 20. After smoking it with another young person, the teen started getting sick and was taken to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.
He was given a urine test, which came back “unconfirmed positive” for THC, the affidavit said. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most active ingredient in marijuana. The test didn’t show the presence of other narcotic drugs, police said.
Mayer apparently denied ever giving the boy marijuana, saying she’d paid him with cash for shoveling.
The court allowed both Saddlemire and Mayer to remain free from jail. They are represented by the Bennington County public defender’s office, according to court records. The State’s Attorney’s Office is prosecuting.