"The level of addiction in the City of Rutland is mind boggling," said Rutland Police Chief James Baker.
Chief Baker says the heroin problem in the city is on the rise, but that police collaboration with state and federal law enforcement is making a difference.
"Dedicated more resources to Rutland area to deal with this problem from the Federal side, than we have done in my experience. And we have worked closely together both in terms of strategies and targeting to go after the offenders," said Tristram Coffin, The U.S. Attorney for Vermont.
The collaboration began in July after a massive drug bust on Strongs Avenue, where a New York drug dealer was in possession of over $100,000 worth of heroin.
Chief Baker says the heroin is primarily coming from New York City, but efforts from the DEA have tracked dealers to a variety of other cities like Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts.
"From the DEA perspective we are going to do everything we can to reach out and find you and bring you back to Vermont to face justice," said the DEA's Jeff Boobar.
But investigators say that stopping the supply is tough without enough treatment options to stop the demand for drugs. They welcome a new treatment facility planned for Rutland. "We don't have the ability to get folks the treatment like some other parts of the state and I think because of that, that is actually driving up the number of folks that are coming to this area providing product. Because the market is here as a result of the depth of the addiction," Chief Baker said.
The ongoing efforts of the cooperative law enforcement effort includes increased compliance checks, in-depth FBI investigations and documentation, and drawing upon information from the community. Chief Baker says he encourages Rutland residents to use the police department tip line for any information. And there is one message that he hopes is heard across the East Coast. "If you are thinking about coming to the City of Rutland to start an enterprise dealing illegal drugs, that the federal government is standing side by side with us and you are going to have the consequences of the federal government," he said.
Since the collaboration began in July, there have been 30 defendants charged in federal court. Police say they do not have exact numbers, but say that number of arrests is substantially higher than usual. As the agencies continue to work together Chief Baker says he hopes to see an improved quality of life in the city by fall.
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:00 PM EST2013-12-04 23:00:46 GMT
Burlington's deputy police chief is off the hook on drunk driving charges after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday.More >>
Burlington's deputy police chief took a plea deal Wednesday, and then announced his retirement. The plea gets Andi Higbee off the hook for drunk driving, but the resolution of the case also ends his 24-year career with the BPD.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:45 AM EST2013-12-04 14:45:58 GMT
Police are looking for two Massachusetts men in connection with an assault and robbery in Burlington's South End. It happened Tuesday afternoon on Marble Ave. Investigators say Bryan Frazier, 30, and Rashad Sabree,More >>
Police are looking for two Massachusetts men in connection with an assault and robbery in Burlington's South End.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:31 AM EST2013-12-04 14:31:50 GMT
An accused murderer has fired his investigator. Dennis Tribble was convicted of murder twice. The 63-year-old Vermont man was convicted of shooting and killing Michael Borello in 2000. But the VermontMore >>
An accused murderer has fired his investigator.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:24 PM EST2013-12-04 23:24:21 GMT
He's already in jail accused of burglaries, now a Lamoille County man is facing more charges. Police say Joshua Loura is now linked to three break-ins in Wolcott and Johnson. He was already accused ofMore >>
He's already in jail accused of burglaries, now a Lamoille County man is facing more charges.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:06 PM EST2013-12-04 23:06:01 GMT
Some of Vermont's craft beers are so popular they are being re-sold illegally on the internet, and now the state is cracking down. Brewers like Heady Topper, Hill Farmstead and Lawson's Finest have notedMore >>
Has the Heady Topper craze gotten out of control? Now, a lawyer is in trouble with the law for allegedly trying to capitalize on the Vermont craft brew craze.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:03 PM EST2013-12-04 23:03:30 GMT
Still no word from investigators on what caused a fatal fire in Northern New York. Police say Sierra Daha, 22, died in the fire at her home on Dugway Road in Moriah Tuesday morning. An autopsy was completedMore >>
Still no word from investigators on what caused a fatal fire in Northern New York.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:16 PM EST2013-12-04 23:16:20 GMT
Betsy Bishop and staff at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce spent much of the year on the phone, convincing business operators to bring their insurance business to the state's online marketplace. But now,More >>
Individual and family enrollments are picking up speed on Vermont Health Connect, but a new extension for businesses is forcing some to re-think health coverage strategies... again.More >>