Local woman accused of heroin sales

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BRATTLEBORO — A 29-year-old Brattleboro woman who was arrested last December and charged in state court with two counts of sale of fentanyl is in federal custody after a drug raid was conducted Wednesday on a Central Street apartment building.

According to a document filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, Justine Pond, 29, is suspected in the distribution of fentanyl in Brattleboro.

According to an affidavit filed by Brandon Hope, a Special Agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the investigation into Pond's activities began prior to her December arrest, on Sept. 20, 2018, when a confidential source spoke with a VSP detective.

The source told the detective that he has known Pond for more than 10 years and that she has been selling narcotics since the fall of 2017. The source told investigators he had purchased heroin from Pond more than 20 times and that he spoke with her on a daily basis.

"Pond constantly told the [source] that she had heroin to sell," wrote Hope.

According to the affidavit, the source has convictions for operation of a motor vehicle with a criminally suspended license and resisting arrest. "The CS was cooperating with law enforcement for monetary compensation," notes the affidavit.

On Sept. 24, the Vermont State Police received a warrant to record Pond's conversations at her home, her place of employment "or any other location where she might be found, and the voices of any other person(s) that are inadvertently or purposely present during the conversations."

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On Sept. 25, the source purchased $80 of heroin from Pond, who was at her residence at 48 Central St. "Pond exited the residence and handed the CS a bundle of heroin," wrote Hope.

The source again purchased heroin from Pond on Oct. 2, noted Hope, spending $140 for 18 bindles of the drug.

At that time, wrote Hope, the source was approached by Bruce Gauthier, whose wife, Rachel Gauthier, lives at 48 Central St., and was told "he could sell the [the source] heroin at a good price."

Pond was one of 15 southern Vermonters arrested on Dec. 13, 2018, after an investigation following an increase in drug overdoses in the region.

In addition to Pond, the Vermont Drug Task Force arrested during that sweep her sister, Jocelyn Pond, also 29, and eight other Brattleboro residents, including Corey Jackson, 31, Dalton Kissell, 28, Rachael Gauthier, 48, Beth Davis, 41, Sarah Cassell, 31, Peter Garrett, 31, and Michelle Carrasquillo.

The affidavit filed by Hope on Thursday does not state whether Gauthier is also under investigation.

The DEA received assistance from the Vermont State Police.

More arrests are expected as a result of Wednesday's law enforcement activities in Brattleboro.


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