Vergennes Police Log: Police nab N.J. man for human trafficking

VERGENNES — A routine traffic stop for speeding conducted by Vergennes police on Aug. 26 led to the arrest of a New Jersey man wanted in Maryland on human trafficking and prostitution charges.
Vergennes police said they pulled over a pickup truck hauling a trailer on West Main Street on that Friday. They discovered there was an outstanding April 2015 warrant for the arrest of the driver, Richard J. Espenschied, 32, of Delran, N.J.
Police Chief George Merkel said the “no bail” warrant included one charge of human trafficking and six charges involving prostitution, adding that Espenschied had “a lengthy record.”
Police lodged Espenschied at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.
In other incidents between Aug. 22 and 28, Vergennes police:
•  On Aug. 22 dealt with a minor two-car accident on Main Street.
•  On Aug. 22 helped Vermont State Police by responding to a Ferrisburgh home on Route 7, where a man was not responding to CPR.
•  On Aug. 22 performed a background check on behalf of the FBI.
•  On Aug. 22 helped VSP by calming a family dispute on Shellhouse Mountain Road in Ferrisburgh.
•  On Aug. 22 helped VSP by responding to a High Manor Park home in Waltham, where a woman had taken too many pills, and standing by until the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad arrived.
•  On Aug. 23 calmed a man and woman who were arguing loudly outside a Main Street apartment building.
•  On Aug. 23 checked out a man who was reported to be acting strangely by personnel at the National Guard armory and determined there was no problem.
•  On Aug. 23 alerted the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force about a Northlands Job Corps student who had been expelled for saying he wanted to join ISIS and making similar threatening statements.
•  On Aug. 24 dealt with minor two-car accidents on Main and South Water streets.
•  On Aug. 25 accepted a smashed iPhone that had been found on Canal Street.
•  On Aug. 25 found a black HP laptop computer that a citizen left with a note in the station lobby after finding it at the Ferrisburgh intersection of Monkton and Pea Ridge roads.
•  On Aug. 26 heard from a resident who saw a man hanging around Falls Park for a week or more. Police spoke to the man, who said he was homeless, and police told him he was welcome to stay in the park during the day, but that it was closed after dark.
•  On Aug. 26 spoke to a couple at the station who said they were splitting and having trouble with child custody issues; police invited them to think of the children’s welfare as they went through the process.
•  On Aug. 26 helped VSP by processing for drunk driving the driver of one car involved in a Panton two-car accident with injuries (see the Vermont State Police log for more details).
•  On Aug. 27 went to West Street to check out a report of a man lying in the road; police found him drunk sitting under a tree and took him to his city home.
•  On Aug. 27 took two reports of cars being entered, one off Sunset Drive from which loose change was taken, and one on South Maple Street in which nothing was apparently stolen.
•  On Aug. 27 dealt with minor two-car accidents on Hillside Drive, on Depot Street and in the Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot.
•  On Aug. 27 cited Northlands student Joshua D. Green, 19, of Woodside, N.J., for aggravated assault, simple assault, unlawful mischief and aggravated disorderly misconduct for, respectively, throwing a rock at and hitting a female acquaintance in her shin, slapping her in the face, smashing her cell phone, and making threats.
•  On Aug. 28 were told by a man passing through Vergennes that a license plate had been stolen from his car when he stopped to take a nap.
•  On Aug. 28 took a report that a woman’s laundry had been stolen from a dryer at the New Haven Road Laundromat.
•  On Aug. 28 removed the key from and locked a car that had been left running for two hours on South Water Street; police left a card on its windshield to inform its owner how to retrieve the key.

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