Drug Task Force Focuses Aim on NEK

 

 

PressConfSAINT JOHNSBURY-  Federal officials have been cracking down on drug trafficking in Vermont, and recently, the Northeast Kingdom has become a focal point. Leading to the creation of a multi-agency coalition task force. “We remain in the midst of an epidemic that will not end through law enforcement action alone,” said Agent Kevin Black with the Drug Enforcement Agency. During the Month of October, federal, state, local and county officials cracked down on drug trafficking in the Saint Johnsbury and Newport Areas. “We’ve really made a different kind of sustained targeted push and really tried to move quickly to make a community impact” U.S District Attorney Christina Nolan said.

 

 They chargeded 16 idividuals, seized about 700 bags of fentanyl and heroin, 100 grams of cocaine, 2 firearms, and approximately four thousand dollars in drug proceeds. Agent Jason Molina with the Department of Homeland Security says, “If you think about the population of Saint Johnsbury, which is just over 7,600 people. It’s almost ten percent of the population here. Thats very impactful.” Here in the Northeast Kingdom, they arrested 11 people…. US Attorney Christina Nolan says that some of them were linked the murder of a Waterford man last year. “I can tell you that four of those people have some connection we’ve alleged in court, to the death of Mr. Pimental.”

 

Last month, Attorney Nolan and her team held a meeting with the public regarding their efforts in the community and the steps they plan on taking from this point forward.  Tennyson Marceau, Prevention Specialist at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital says that, “prevention is right at the forefront. We really try and deal with the youth and to curb the problem before it becomes something even more drastic than what it is.” 

 

U.S Attorney Nolan has a message for those looking here to traffic in drugs and weaponry into the northeast kingdom.  “The Northeast kingdom is a place of peace, freedom and astounding beauty… it is no place for drug dealing”. She warns that they are coming after those who do traffic contraband into the area, telling them to “turn around” and stay away.