Wednesday August 14, 2013

ELIZABETH CONKEY

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- Preston Foster, 50, of Bennington, pleaded guilty Tuesday to selling stolen property in exchange for the state of Vermont dropping a felony and three misdemeanor charges against him.

Foster will pay a fine totaling $2,450 after charges for cocaine sales, solicitation of a prostitute and cocaine possession are dropped from his record.

Deputy State’s Attorney Robert Plunkett, the prosecutor assigned to Foster’s case, noted that he was satisfied with the outcome of the trial.

"I’m comfortable with Mr. Foster just paying the fine because he has now been convicted of possessing illegal drugs," said Plunkett.

He declined to comment further on the case.

Foster, who was accused of selling stolen goods in February 2012 to Moose’s Gold in Bennington, was arrested on July 24 of that same year outside of his business, Foster’s Cannery, a silver, gold and scrap metal resale shop, which doubles as a bottle and can redemption center.

The owner of Moose’s Gold, Justin Belleville, subsequently suffered a substantial financial loss, amounting to a few thousand dollars, after police seized the stolen jewelry for investigation.

On Feb. 9, 2012, police raided Foster’s business. According to police, during the raid, Foster told officers where they could find a bag full of more stolen jewelry at his home.


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Upon searching Foster’s residence, police recovered a number of stolen pieces from a private safe, including 30-40 pieces of silver and turquoise jewelry, which the rightful owner, Sonja Jaffee, valued at approximately $2,000.

Foster told police that the safe in which they found the collection of jewelry had not been open in years.

Foster is expected to pay his fines by Oct. 14 of this year.

Contact Elizabeth Conkey at econkey@benningtonbanner.com. Follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.