Sentences handed down in 2019 drug bust

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BRATTLEBORO — Twin sisters who were arrested during a drug sweep in April 2019 have accepted plea agreements.

According to court documents, Jocelyn and Justine Pond, 30, of Brattleboro, received three and five years of supervised release, respectively.

Both pleaded guilty to one count of distributing fentanyl. Jocelyn Pond was sentenced on Feb. 13. Justine Pond on Feb. 10.

The sisters were two of 16 people busted following a multi-jurisdictional drug investigation that culminated in arrests on April 10, 2019.

According to affidavits filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, the investigation began May 1, 2018, after a Vermont State Trooper arranged for a confidential source to purchase heroin from two women at 48 Central St.

One of those women was Justine Pond and the other was Rachael Gauthier, 50, also of Brattleboro. Gauthier pleaded guilty to one count of distributing fentanyl and is set to be sentenced on March 6.

During a raid on three residences and one hotel room, police seized approximately 1,000 bags of heroin and 70 grams of cocaine base.

In October 2019, Rory Jackson, 36, of Queens, N.Y., pleaded guilty to one count of distributing fentanyl and heroin. He remains detained waiting for his sentencing on March 12.

On Dec. 19, Robert Eric Newton, 50, of Brattleboro, was sentenced to three years of supervised release on one count of distributing heroin.

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Also in December, Luis Alberto Duprey, 25, of Holyoke, Mass., was sentenced on one count of distributing heroin, to six months in prison followed by one year on supervised release.

Daniel DeThomas, 38, of Hartford, Conn., was sentenced on Jan. 9 to 27 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in September 2019 to one count of distributing cocaine.

On Jan. 10, Sarah Cassell, 33, of Brattleboro, was sentenced to time served followed by three years of supervised release. In November 2019, she pleaded guilty to one count of distributing heroin.

On Jan. 21, Arthur Fisk, 29, of Brattleboro, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine. His sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

On Jan. 22, Jaylen Pryor, 19, of Brattleboro, was sentenced on one count of distributing cocaine to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Holly Magnuson, 26, of Brattleboro, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of distributing cocaine. Her sentencing is set for August.

Still to be sentenced is Curtis Bunkley, 30, of Brattleboro, who pleaded guilty on Aug. 20, 2019, to distributing heroin and fentanyl. Bunkley was recently served with another charge. Earlier this week, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Vermont announced Bunkley had been indicted for distributing a fatal dose of heroin and fentanyl to Thomas Devens Jr., who was 31 at the time of his death in Winhall.

The April 2019 arrests were made with the participation of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Department of Homeland Security — Homeland Security Investigations; Federal Bureau of Investigation; United States Marshals Service; Brattleboro Police Department; Vermont Drug Task Force; Vermont State Police; CBP Air/Marine Unit; and New Hampshire Drug Task Force. Crucial support was provided by the Office of the Windham County State's Attorney; the Vermont Attorney General's Office; and the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

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


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