Second woman arrested in Central St. drug bust

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BRATTLEBORO — A second Brattleboro woman is in federal custody after she was arrested Wednesday, accused of selling heroin and fentanyl.

The arrest of Rachel Gauthier, 48, was made following a federal law enforcement action when more than a dozen officers, agents and troopers conducted a drug raid at 48 Central St.

Brandon Hope, a Special Agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, wrote in an affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont that Gauthier sold illegal drugs on at least three occasions in 2018.

The investigation began May 1, 2018, after a Vermont State Trooper arranged for a confidential source to purchase heroin from June Bostwick, 56, of Brattleboro. Hope noted that the source was introduced to Bostwick in the fall of 2017 by Gauthier. The source told detectives he had purchased heroin and crack cocaine from Bostwick on several occasions between December 2017 and March 2018. On May 1, the source went to 48 Central St. to purchase heroin from Bostwick, wrote Hope. During a visit to the apartment, the source allegedly received the drugs from Gauthier.

The source has convictions for driving a vehicle with a criminally suspended license and resisting arrest and assisted investigators in exchange for money, wrote Hope.

"Gauthier was known to [Vermont State Police] to be a distributor of heroin and crack cocaine in the Brattleboro ... area," wrote Hope, and had previously been arrested for selling heroin on two occasions from the same location. "According to several sources, Gauthier is the primary tenant of the residence ... and often allowed other individuals to sell narcotics out of the residence."

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The source made controlled purchases of illegal drugs from Gauthier on July 2, 2018 and on Sept. 25, 2018, from Justine Pond, 29, of Brattleboro, who was also arrested Wednesday.

Gauthier and Pond were two of 15 southern Vermont residents arrested on Dec. 13, 2018, after an investigation into an increase in drug overdoses in the region.

In addition to the two arrested during that sweep, the Vermont Drug Task Force also arrested Jocelyn Pond, 29, Corey Jackson, 31, Dalton Kissell, 28, Beth Davis, 41, Sarah Cassell, 31, Peter Garrett, 31, and Michelle Carrasquillo.

The Drug Enforcement Administration received assistance from the Vermont State Police.

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

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


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