Five years ago Devin Austin was a promising offensive lineman. Sports websites show the 6'3" Harlem football player was being eyed by college scouts. Friday, he was in a Vermont courtroom facing two felony drugs charges for his role in another man's Colchester drug ring.
Police say oxycodone users were lining up outside 59-year-old Raymond Bureau's apartment across the street from St. Michael's College.
"He had a pretty good sideline going selling oxycodone in Colchester," Chittenden County Deputy State's Attorney Paul Finnerty said.
In court, Bureau denied he was selling prescription pills, but police say they caught him in the act. For three weeks Colchester police had staked out his apartment and watched Bureau dealing from his home and a hotel parking lot next door.
"Meeting with people, staying a short duration, going back; indicative of drug activity," Colchester Police Det. Sgt. Charles Cole said.
Police say after several undercover drug buys they raided Bureau's apartment Wednesday evening.
"There was a substantial amount, into the hundreds of pills, being distributed out of here on a weekly basis," Cole said.
Investigators say Bureau was sharing his home with his suppliers and charging the New York City men weekly rent. When Austin was arrested, police say he had 100 oxycodone pills concealed near his groin and $5,600 in his pocket, including a few marked 20s police used for their undercover buys. Austin denied the allegations, shaking his head and looking back at his mom when prosecutors called him a flight risk.
"It would appear that his only connection with Vermont is to travel here to sell oxycodone and when he runs out, according to the allegations, he goes back to New York and brings back more oxycodone to Vermont," Finnerty said.
Police would not say if they're pursuing Austin's New York City supplier, but said funneling oxy into Vermont from urban areas is a common crime. Dealers have more access to fraudulent and stolen prescriptions in the city and they can triple their profits here in the Green Mountains.
Austin was held on $75,000 bail and Bureau on $50,000.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
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