Police arrest 2 more Vermonters accused of kidnapping from Lebanon airport

  • Adam Adolph (Lebanon Police photograph)

  • April Arnold (Lebanon Police photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/28/2022 2:08:26 PM
Modified: 7/29/2022 9:17:05 AM

WEST LEBANON — James Mann walked onto his apartment’s porch for a smoke Wednesday afternoon when he was confronted with a scene unusual for his “nice, quiet neighborhood.”

A few feet from Mann’s porch was a fleet of police cruisers, fire department vehicles, police officers in tactical gear with assault weapons, a K-9 unit and the demand announced over a police public address system to “come out with your hands up.”

“They had the building surrounded,” Mann recounted Thursday, referring to the apartment house next door to his home on Dana Street. Authorities were attempting to coax two suspects sought on an arrest warrant to emerge from an apartment on the second floor.

Thursday afternoon’s tactical operation at 4 Dana St. was the culmination of alleged betrayal, the theft of bags stuffed with tens of thousands of dollars and death threats among a group of purported Upper Valley drug dealers that began three weeks earlier with one of the members being “kidnapped” by other members in front of customers who were waiting to pick up their car rental at the Lebanon airport, according to police reports and interviews with witnesses at the scene.

On Thursday, two of the suspects who were brought out of the Dana Street apartment building appeared in prison garb in Grafton Superior Court in North Haverhill. South Royalton resident April Arnold, 37, pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal threatening against a person, robbery, sale of heroin and kidnapping. Her alleged accomplice, Thetford resident Adam Adolph, 32, pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery, sale of heroin and kidnapping.

After a recitation by the prosecutor of the alleged events that landed the pair in behind bars, Arnold and Adolph each lost their respective bids to be released on bail with conditions. Both are being held in preventive detention.

Authorities had been searching for Arnold and Adolph since July 5, when they allegedly were involved in the abduction and detention of Brooke Barnaby, who had gone to the Lebanon airport around noon that day along with her fiance, Alexander Mamaev, and a third individual, Kurtis Marcy, with the purpose of renting a car, according to a police affidavit filed in support of the charges prepared by Lebanon Police Department patrol officer Matthew Kaufman.

But the trio were turned down at the rental desk when they couldn’t produce a valid credit card, police said. Instead they hung out in the lobby of the airport for several hours while they called around on their phones to find a ride. Eventually they reached Adolph, who drove to the airport.

At one point, Mamaev went into the bathroom, leaving Barnaby and Marcy sitting together in the Cape Air passenger waiting lounge, according to Kelly Carbino, manager of Avis car rental, who witnessed what was about to transpire.

“That’s when the c--- hit the fan,” Carbino told the Valley News on Thursday.

Carbino saw Marcy suddenly bolt out of the lobby and “launch over the rail” into the parking lot with Barnaby “hot on his heels yelling at him” before Barnaby attempted to jump the rail, too, but instead landed with a “face plant” on the pavement, Carbino said.

Carbino was unclear about what she had just witnessed, especially because the ostensibly friendly trio had been quiet and not bothering anybody while they waited in the lobby.

But Mamaev and Barnaby later told police investigators that Marcy had absconded with Barnaby’s backpack, which contained between $55,000 and $60,000 in cash, the affidavit said.

As the scene unfolded, several Avis customers ran outside to assist Barnaby as she got up after her spill and chased after Marcy, who was seen jumping into a vehicle waiting in the parking lot with Adolph at the wheel.

One of the witnesses told police that Barnaby “jumped into” the back seat after Marcy with her “feet hanging out of the vehicle as it was driving away” while the two “were fighting over the bag” and the car sped over a grassy area and then onto the main road away from the airport, according to the affidavit.

In the front passenger seat of the car was Arnold, according to authorities.

As the car headed down Airport Road, Barnaby told police in the affidavit, she attempted to open the door and “yell for help” but Marcy held her down. Arnold kept telling Barnaby that the money in the backpack belonged to her and that if Barnaby kept trying to take it back, Arnold “would shoot her in the kneecap,” according to the affidavit.

Later, under questioning by the police, Barnaby acknowledged the cash in the backpack belonged to Arnold, and Mamaev called it “all drug money,” the affidavit said. Mamaev explained that a few days earlier they pepper-sprayed Arnold, “took the bag and ran.”

Also involved in stealing the backpack from Arnold was a mutual friend, Keith Belisle, in whose West Lebanon apartment Arnold and Adolph were hiding when police found them Wednesday, Barnaby and Mamaev told investigators.

Marcy, who allegedly had taken the backpack of cash from Barnaby at the airport, was arrested on a traffic violation on Route 66 in Randolph this week when Vermont police learned there was a warrant for his arrest in New Hampshire. He is expected to be transferred back to New Hampshire.

After Marcy’s arrest, Lebanon police issued an alert to the public on Wednesday for information regarding the whereabouts of Arnold and Adolph.

Police received a tip later that day that they were residing in Belisle’s apartment on Dana Street.

After refusing to answer the police’s call to come out and surrender, the Lebanon Tactical and Containment Team fired pepper balls through the windows and entered the second-floor apartment, according to a news release. Once inside, they found Arnold “hiding in a pile of blankets” and Adolph “hiding inside a wall located in the kitchen area.”

Inside the apartment, police said they found a “large amount of heroin” and Arnold was “found to be in possession” of about $12,000 in cash.

Arnold and Adolph were taken into custody “without incident,” police said.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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