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Police Arrest 5 in Springfield, Vt., 10 in Brattleboro After Opioid Overdose Spike



VtDigger
Saturday, December 15, 2018

Police arrested 10 suspected drug dealers in Brattleboro this week and five people elsewhere in southern Vermont earlier in the fall following an uptick in opioid overdoses in the area.

Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Chris Lora said the Vermont Drug Task Force responded to an increase in reported opioid overdoses this summer by applying a “full-court press” to figure out who was supplying the drugs, first in Springfield this September and then in Brattleboro more recently.

“When we have an incident like this — the first thing is doing what we can to start making arrests and gathering information to find out where this is coming from,” he said.

Vermont Public Radio reported that there were 11 overdoses in the Brattleboro area alone over the July 4 weekend this year. While drug overdoses are trending slightly downward across the state, fentanyl overdoses have surged, with Brattleboro in Windham County and Springfield in Windsor County particularly hard-hit.

There have been 26 fentanyl-related deaths in Windsor and Windham counties so far this year, the two highest figures in the state (Rutland also has had 10 fentanyl fatalities), according to the state’s latest statistics. The deadliest single months for fentanyl overdoses in any county were four deaths, in Windham this June and in Windsor in September.

Lora said that the 15 suspected dealers arrested in the past three months were cited and released pending trials. He said police were continuing their investigation into the area drug networks and trying to work their way up the distribution chain by pursuing cases in Massachusetts.