KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A woman who was arrested in a drug sweep last week pleaded not guilty Wednesday to taking $1,300 from a Manchester restaurant where she previously worked.
Bonnie L. Bucchieri, 23, of Arlington, pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court to burglary, and grand larceny. She was released under the condition she abide by a 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew at her home. On Sept. 25, Bucchieri pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor counts of selling heroin and was ordered not to have contact with a confidential police informant. She was arrested on that day as part of "Operation Strike Two," along with 15 others suspected of being involved in the drug trade. The sweep was a smaller version of one in January where over 40 people were arrested.
According to an affidavit by Manchester Police Officer Christopher Mason, on Monday at 4:15 p.m. police received word from Thomas Norton, owner of Mulligan’s Restaurant on Main Street in Manchester, that someone had taken $1,345 from a cash bag left in his office while he had stepped out.
Norton felt the person had entered the office from a fire escape. He said the money had been left in a lock box that was open at the time.
Mason said he spoke to a restaurant employee who said he had seen a blue Jeep Liberty parked behind the restaurant being driven by a person he thought was Bucchieri. Police said on Tuesday, Bucchieri’s sister, who owns the vehicle, came to police to say she had loaned it to Bucchieri and knew police were looking for it.
Later that day, Bucchieri came to the Manchester Police Department to discuss the incident. Mason wrote that Bucchieri became quiet then cried once the interview began. As she was being read her Miranda rights, she said she did not wish to speak to police but was unsure if she wanted an attorney. Mason said he left the room, then came back and asked Bucchieri if she had anything more to say. She began to cry, talked about how she needed the money, then said she felt bad about having done wrong.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.