Major drug bust in VT, NY nets five arrests - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Major drug bust in VT, NY nets five arrests

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Jennifer Stratton (above) Jennifer Stratton (above)
Mark/Michael Stratton (above) Mark/Michael Stratton (above)
Jason Seifert (180) Jason Seifert (180)

Police have arrested five people and found thousands of drugs after raids in New York and Vermont.

An overdose in Bennington, Vermont lead police in Hoosick Falls and Greenwich to join in the investigation, and now thousands of pills are off the street, along with marijuana plants and some guns.

On Wednesday morning, Bennington police were called to the Apple Valley Inn on Route 7 in the town with reports that two people had overdosed. Upon arrival, authorities found 23-year old Jason Seifert and 28-year-old Jessica Stratton semi-comatose. Also in the room with them were strong pain pills like Oxycontin, morphine and valium.

"Huge amount of pills here," said Bennington Police Det. Sgt. David Rowland, "we did a search warrant on the vehicle outside and recovered even more.

"Some of them were marked for sale; we found ledgers that indicate they were for sale."

After that overdose in Bennington, police came to a residence on Breese Hollow road in the Town of Hoosick. They say one man was inside doing drugs, while another two were trying to get away in a car, throwing pills out the window.

"We knew they were using and selling at the same time," Hoosick Falls Police Chief Robert Whalen said, "To us it's huge."

Mark and Michael Stratton, 25-year-old twin brothers, were arrested, along with David Oakes of Vermont. Police also say they found 900 marijuana plants, hypodermic needles and four children under the age of four walking around in diapers.  

Chief Whalen commented, "The children could have picked up pills. There was pills all over the floor, they could have taken anything they wanted, stuck by a needle. It was disgusting."

The arrests capped a huge bust that police say could only happen with good communication between departments.

"We all worked together, got the job done, and that's all that matters," said Chief George Bell of the Cambridge-Greenwich Police Department.

Police say all five suspects have long rap sheets, with prior arrests for drug use, who may also be linked to a string of pharmacy robberies.

For now, police believe they are connected to a robbery in April at Thorpe's Pharmacy in Hoosick Falls, where about $16,000 worth of drugs were taken, and a robbery in May at O'Hearn's Pharmacy in Cambridge, where more than $50,000 worth of pills were stolen.

"You're probably talking in the hundreds of thousands of dollars of resale value on the street," Chief Bell told NEWS10.

Chief Whalen further said, "This reaches down into the street level and gets into the schools. We hope to put a big dent in it with this."

Police believe both Bennington and Rutland, Vermont are hot spots for drug sales.

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