A 36-year-old man and two alleged accomplices will appear in federal court court Monday following a police raid of a suspected meth lab.
Friday, the Vermont State Police executed search warrants at an Island Pond residence on Railroad Street. Law enforcement officers believe 36-year-old Carl Coker used the bottom apartment there to make methamphetamine.
Odd Sudafed purchases across Northern Vermont led them to Coker. Police monitor the over the counter decongestant because it's commonly used in meth production.
"There has never been a suspected meth lab in Island Pond or frankly, Essex County," said Essex County State's Attorney Vincent Illuzzi, "it's a very unusual occurrence."
Illuzzi would not say specify what officers found in their search but did say they found several "items of interest." "The material seized at the residence will be taken back to the Vermont Forensic Laboratory where it will be analyzed," he added.
Prosecutors say Coker is one of three people being held in connection with the search.
"He told me he was trying to change," said Coker's sister. She lives in the upper apartment with her husband and children.
"I never, never thought he'd do anything here," she said. She says her brother has a drug problem but had no idea what was allegedly going on downstairs. "I was really shocked, really shocked and I think I still am."
Now, her 30 year-old daughter is caught up in the investigation, as is Coker's friend Charles Amerine. The three suspects are held and due in federal court Monday morning.
I was allowed to take a brief peek inside the downstairs apartment. It didn't take long to sight tell-tale signs of meth production. Signs like dozens of torn apart batteries - a common component.
In February of this year, Alabama authorities arrested Coker for unlawful distribution. They issued a warrant for his arrest this summer.
Coker's sister says she hopes telling her story will prevent others from living her nightmare. "Unfortunately (drug addiction) hurts the whole family, instead of just the one person."
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:56:29 GMT
A public defender entered 34-year-old Anthony Wright's not guilty plea in the Chittenden County courthouse Friday morning. Police say a search of Wright's residence two days earlier revealed about 250More >>
A Burlington man denies drug charges after police say they stumbled upon his marijuana grow operation. It happened while authorities were investigating another alleged drug crime next door.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:45 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:45:07 GMT
Prosecutors in a murder case said Thursday that backups at the Vermont Forensics Lab have slowed their case, and the defense said the delays are violating their client's right to a speedy trial. So, isMore >>
Prosecutors in a murder case said backups at the Vt. Forensics Lab slowed their case; the defense said the delays violate their client's right to a speedy trial. So, is that courtroom strategy or is there really a backlog? More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:45 AM EDT2013-05-17 13:45:45 GMT
A trial date has been set for a Massachusetts man accused of killing a woman in southern Vermont. 31-year-old Frank Caraballo will be in court September 9. He's accused of killing Melissa Barratt inMore >>
A trial date has been set for a Massachusetts man accused of killing a woman in southern Vermont.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 12:26 PM EDT2013-05-17 16:26:55 GMT
A Vermont used car dealer is facing federal fraud charges of hiding malfunctions in the cars he sold. Prosecutors say Douglas Jordan, 40, of Wolcott, bought high-mileage used cars at auction and sold themMore >>
A Vermont used car dealer is facing federal fraud charges of hiding malfunctions in the cars he sold.More >>