KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- After a man said that his 17-year-old daughter had been missing for two days, an investigation by police led them to both the girl and a man they charged with possession of heroin.

Lamar James, 23, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Vermont Superior Court to felony heroin possession. He was held for lack of $10,000 bail and ordered to not have contact with the girl or her father. A statement from Manchester Police said James is from Newark, N.J. while court documents listed a hotel in Manchester as his address.

According to an affidavit by Manchester Police Cpl. James Blanchard, on Tuesday at 11 p.m. a man reported his daughter had not been home in two days. He last saw her on Sunday afternoon at their home after she said she was stepping out for a few minutes. He heard a car pull away, and after speaking with her friends thought she might be with James at the Econo Lodge in Manchester.

Manchester Police along with Sgt. Josh Epstein of the Winhall Police, went to James’ room where he answered the door wearing a towel. Police saw the girl in the room and were given permission to enter by James, who then went to take a shower. Police found marijuana in an open drawer. The girl said it was not hers, so they knocked on the bathroom door where they could hear water running. It was promptly answered by James, who admitted the marijuana was his and said there were no other drugs in the room.


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James admitted to recently smoking marijuana and police could smell it in the room.

According to an affidavit by Epstein, the room was searched and two bindles of heroin were found in a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. Empty bags that police believe held heroin were found in a trash can. Ultimately police found 16 bags of heroin in packages labeled "Black Magic."

The girl was released to her parents, according to the Manchester Police Facebook page.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.