Burlington, Vermont -- August 2, 2007
Police arrested a half dozen suspects Thursday in connection with what they are calling "major drug operations" operating in Chittenden County.
Just after dawn Thursday morning local and federal authorities rounded up five suspects at four residences in Winooski and one in Burlington
Four of them were still under supervision for recent drug-related convictions including two who were released to complete their sentences on house arrest.
The suspects were identified as Moshaun Barnes, 32, 259 Main St, Winooski, charged with cocaine possession; Germain Davidson, 27, 35 W. Allen St, Winooski, charged with 2 counts Sale of Cocaine; Bilal Abur-Rahman, 22, 135 Main St., Apt. B, Winooski, charged with Possession of Cocaine; Bruce Ringgold, 31, 53 Abnaki Way, Winooski, charged with four counts sale of cocaine; Kwamega Supreme, 29, 206 1/2 Champlain St., Burlington., charged with Possession of cocaine and marijuana.
Police say the suspects worked in two separate operations, both dealing cocaine. Police say searches of the suspects' residences turned up more than 6-thousand dollars in cash, 3-thousand dollars worth of drugs and a semi-automatic pistol.
"The allegation is the source is either New York City or, in some instances, Massachusetts," said T.J. Donovan, Chittenden County Prosecutor.
"We're very concerned. The allegations are very serious," said Donovan.
He is especially concerned because most of the suspects were already under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.
"Four out of the five gentlemen do have prior drug convictions in 2004 and 2005 in Vermont. I believe two of them currently are under the supervision of the DOC while they engaged in the allegations that they faced here in court today," said Donovan.
Records show that two were on probation while two others were completing sentences under furlough house arrest. The county prosecutor says that underscores Vermont's prison problem.
"We have limited jail space in Vermont and that's the problem corrections is facing. That's why people are released out," said Donovan.
The five suspects pled not guilty to the felony drug charges.
Cash bail was set at $10,000 for three suspects, $50,000 for the two who had been on prison furlough. Thursday afternoon police arrested a sixth suspect. She will be arraigned Friday for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Police say the investigation continues.
Brian Joyce - WCAX News