16 individuals charged or arrested as part of joint law enforcement effort
BURLINGTON, Vt. – DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle and the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina E. Nolan announced a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement effort that focused on drug trafficking in the areas of Newport and Saint Johnsbury, Vermont. During the month-long operation conducted by federal, state, local, and county officers, and federal and state prosecutors, law enforcement arrested or charged 16 individuals, searched three residences, and seized approximately 700 bags of fentanyl and heroin, 100 grams of cocaine base, two firearms, and $4,000 in drug proceeds.
This operation stemmed from careful planning and collaboration by Vermont law enforcement at all levels. The enforcement surge involved 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, Vermont Drug Task Force, Vermont State Police, Saint Johnsbury Police Department, Newport Police Department, Lyndonville Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Air and Marine Operations. Crucial support was provided by the Office of the Caledonia County State’s Attorney and the Office of the Orleans County State’s Attorney.
“Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in Vermont,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Let these arrests serve as an example to those who distribute poisons like fentanyl and heroin to the citizens of St. Johnsbury, that DEA will aggressively pursue and hold you accountable. This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement efforts in Vermont and our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan added: “Today, as we did earlier this year in Brattleboro, we announce the results of a team effort by law enforcement to combat drug trafficking in one of the hardest hit areas of the state. The Northeast Kingdom is suffering greatly under the weight of the drug crisis, and we deployed a sustained surge of enforcement resources to bring consequences to those selling deadly drugs in the area. The messages are simple. Out-of-state dealers should not come to Vermont; if they do, they will face serious consequences, no matter where in the state they do business. Those addicted Vermonters involved in the drug trade will also be held accountable. Today, we urge those Vermonters to turn in their dealers and seek treatment. We want them to have their lives back.”
On Monday, November 18th members of local, state, county and federal law enforcement in partnership with treatment and recovery providers, the Caledonia and Orleans State’s Attorneys and the United States Attorney will hold a forum to discuss the drug and opiate challenges facing Northeastern Vermont. This forum will include a panel presentation and an opportunity for the public to ask questions of the panel. The public is invited to this event which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Johnsbury Middle School in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.