15 county residents swept up in drug investigation

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BRATTLEBORO — Nearly a dozen Brattleboro residents were among the 59 people cited with various drug charges by the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force.

According to a press release from the Vermont State Police, the 59 people have been charged with a number of different offenses, including the sale and distribution of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Four other Windham County residents were also taken into custody, one each from Putney, Bellows Falls, Guilford and Newfane, as was one Winchester, N.H., resident.

According to the press release, all the suspects who were arrested were cited with state drug offenses before being released pending arraignment. Arrest warrants have been issued for a number of other suspects.

"The Drug Task Force conducts hundreds of investigations annually into various levels of illegal drug activity and is committed to aggressively pursuing those people who sell or distribute these poisonous drugs, or who aid individuals who are selling them," states the press release. "These drugs are dangerous to the person taking them and invite violence into our communities."

At the same time, notes the press release, the Vermont State Police "is equally committed to helping individuals find treatment for their addiction, and to assisting them on their path to recovery. During this operation, the task force partnered with the Vermont Department of Health to provide information on treatment and recovery services to those who have a drug dependency. Law enforcement, public health, education, treatment, recovery supports and community engagement all go hand and hand to help prevent, reduce and eliminate the problems caused by opioid drug use."

The Drug Task Force received assistance from police departments in Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Springfield, Bennington, Rutland, South Burlington, Burlingtion, Essex, St. Johnsbury and Newport. The Task Force was also assisted by the Winchester, N.H., Police Department, the Bennington County Sheriff's Office, the Grand Isle Sheriff's Office and the Franklin County Sherriff's Office.

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Those cited in Brattleboro included: Jorge Delaoz, 50, two counts of sale of heroin; Bobby Bethune, 19, two counts of sale of crack cocaine; Peter Garrett, 32, one count of sale of crack cocaine; Scott Haselton, 53, one count of sale of crack cocaine; Marshall Dean, 58, one count of sale of heroin; Kimberly Morgan, 31, one count of sale of crack cocaine; Dean Gero, 52, one count of sale of heroin; Trent Johnson, 30, one count of sale of crack cocaine; Nathan Hazlett, 46, one count of sale of crack cocaine and two counts of sale of heroin; Sylvester Little, 45, one count of sale of crack cocaine; and Daniel Silverman, 48, one count of sale of heroin.

Other Windham County residents cited included: Billy Jo Wilder, 43, of Putney, one count of sale of heroin; Eric Fortune, 34, of Bellows Falls, one count of sale of heroin; Kari Reilly, 37, of Guilford, one count of sale of crack cocaine and three counts of sale of heroin; and Corey Archer, 39, of Newfane, one count of sale of crack cocaine.

Reginald French, 53, of Winchester, N.H., was cited with three counts of sale of heroin.

Other arrests were made or arrest warrants issued in towns throughout the state, including 11 in Rutland, six in Bennington, eight in Newport, two in Tinmouth, two in Burlington, one if Fair Haven, one in Orleans, two in East Barre, two in Barre City, two in Springfield, and one in Coventry.

Three people from Connecticut were cited as was one person from Granville, N.Y.

The Vermont State Police has a tip line and asks the public for assistance in reporting drug dealers in their communities. Tips may be submitted online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit. The Vermont Department of Health provides online resources so people can find help and a pathway to recovery: https://www.healthvermont.gov/alcohol-drugs.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.


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