Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was originally posted to add information on other drug busts in the county.
FERRISBURGH — Vergennes and Vermont State Police on Monday arrested two Ferrisburgh men and one Cornwall man on a number of drug charges, most notably the sale of heroin.
This was the latest in a string of arrests involving the sale of heroin in Addison County.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Monday six Vergennes officers and four VSP troopers raided a Ferrisburgh home at 617 Little Chicago Road and arrested Jamie Gebo, 37, and Jesse Beaver, 31, after finding what they estimated as more than 500 heroin preparations, 13 grams of marijuana, other narcotics, $2,259 in cash, drug paraphernalia and a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol and ammunition.
Police said the home was Gebo’s. According to a Vergennes Police Department press release, Gebo was charged with sale and possession of heroin, illegal possession of regulated drugs, and possession of marijuana. Police lodged Gebo at the Chittenden County Correctional Center for lack of $20,000 bail.
Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel said Gebo’s arrest and the search warrant on his home was the result of a lengthy investigation.
“This guy’s been on our radar screen for a while,” Merkel said.
However, although police have had information, it has not always been actionable. On Monday, they had the right information that allowed them to move, Merkel said.
“We need the information and the opportunity … to go to the operational stage,” he said. “We receive lots of information, but most of the time the information stops at that. We have to wait until the opportunity presents itself.”
Police cited Beaver, who was living at the home, for possession and sale of heroin and illegal possession of a regulated drug.
At about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, in what Vergennes police called a related case they arrested Justin Gero, 22, of Cornwall and cited him for sale and possession of heroin.
Merkel said the investigation is continuing and further arrests may be made.
Merkel praised the cooperation of VSP and his officers for “putting their shoulders to the wheel” on this and other long, complex drug investigations.
The Vergennes department and VSP also worked together in December on the arrest of three people in Leicester for selling heroin. In that case police found more than 350 bags of the drug, $3,670 of cash, marijuana, and a stolen firearm at a Fern Lake Road home.
Brian M. Cumberbatch, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., faces the most serious charge in that case — trafficking of heroin — as well as marijuana possession. Police said the trafficking charge is punishable by a fine of up to $1 million, up to 30 years in jail, or both. At that time police also arrested Jill Smith, 30, of Middlebury and Zebulon Brinkman, 29, of Vergennes. Police charged both with heroin sale and delivery, conspiracy to sell drugs, and possession of heroin.
According to the Burlington Free Press, various Vermont police agencies and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Jan. 3 made another big drug arrest. Dakota Norris, 20, of Bristol and Daniel Sheldrick, 36, of Brandon are facing charges that they traded guns for heroin, according to the ATF. Both were indicted on three felony drug and firearms charges related to conduct in late December. The Free Press quoted Magistrate Judge John Conroy as saying both were heroin users and dealers.
ATF Agent David Campbell told the Free Press that the gun-for-heroin investigation began after Bristol and Vergennes police searched a home and a car Dec. 26 as part of an investigation into the theft of a handgun from Bristol. A Ruger .22-caliber revolver was taken from a Bristol home during a burglary Dec. 21.
That led to a search Dec. 27 in Brandon, after which Norris and Sheldrick were arrested. Police apparently seized guns, ammunition, items used in drug sales, and more than a thousand dollars in cash in that search.