Wednesday January 23, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A New York woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division to a number of drug possession and sale charges related to her allegedly being the driver for a man police suspected of selling cocaine and heroin.

Danielle M. Cattell, 22, of Hoosick Falls, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of cocaine sale, three misdemeanor counts of cocaine possession, two misdemeanor counts of heroin possession, two felony counts of heroin sale, and one felony count of heroin possession. She was released on conditions she reside at her New York address and appear at future court hearings.

Cattell is listed in court documents as a co-defendant with Rahsaan A. Rivers, 38, who according to police goes by the nicknames "Butter" and "Purple." Rivers has a warrant out for his arrest for drug charges.

According to an affidavit by a Vermont State Police detective, in October 2012 the Vermont Drug Task Force Mobile Enforcement Team began investigating Rivers for alleged drug activity. According to police, they met with a person they referred to as a "cooperating individual" or "CI" who said they could purchase drugs from Rivers in Bennington. On Oct. 5 CI was given $200 and agreed to meet Rivers in North Bennington to buy .5 grams of heroin and .8 grams of crack cocaine from Rivers for $100 each.


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Police said they witnessed the transaction between CI and Rivers and saw that Cattell was the driver for Rivers. Police said on Oct. 8 a similar instance was set up where CI bought 2.8 grams of crack cocaine and .6 grams of heroin form Rivers for $260 and $100 respectively. Cattell was the driver this time as well, and according to the CI Rivers had a handgun with him during the transaction. Police said CI and Rivers met in North Bennington then traveled a short distance into New York for the transaction.

Police said on Oct. 11 CI was given $300 and bought .5 grams of crack cocaine from Rivers for $100 and 1.2 grams of heroin for $200. Cattell was seen by police as being the driver, according to the affidavit.

Both Cattell and Rivers were on a list police released last week to the media when they enacted "Operation County Strike," a county-wide effort by numerous law enforcement agencies to arrest as many suspected drug dealers as possible. Rivers and Cattell, according to the list, were not intended to be arrested during the sweep. Over 48 people have been arrested so far out of the targeted 63.