BENNINGTON -- A short car chase where a man allegedly threw drugs into the parking lot of the Dunkin' Donuts on North Street led to police arresting two people in Shaftsbury for heroin trafficking.
James Paul, 24, of Troy, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to felony counts of heroin trafficking, possession of heroin, and possession of cocaine. The trafficking charge carries a 30-year maximum sentence if Paul is convicted.
His co-defendant, Wendy K. Comar, invoked a rule allowing her arraignment to be delayed 24 hours because there was a conflict with her attorney.
Paul was held for lack of $25,000 bail and not allowed contact with Comar, a male, and a police informant.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer John F. Behan, on March 5 at 10:05 a.m. a male was stopped on School Street by Officer James A. Gulley Jr. Gulley had tried to stop the male driver of a 2004 Cadillac as it left the Dunkin' Donuts but the vehicle sped up.
The male's car was searched and nothing illegal was found. It was then towed because the driver had a suspended license.
Later that day police received word that the male had tossed something from his vehicle in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot. Police found a wax package of heroin labeled "100% Powder."
The male admitted to tossing the heroin from his vehicle and said he had about 10 bags of heroin from Comar in Shaftsbury for $150.
Behan later learned from a Vermont Drug Task Force member that an informant had purchased $100 worth in crack cocaine from Comar in late February. They also learned a male was living with Comar, later identified as Paul.
Police obtained a search warrant for where Comar was living on Bank Street and on March 15 the place was searched. Comar was found in the bedroom while Paul was hiding behind a shower curtain in the bathroom. Police found two plastic bags and nine smaller plastic bags. Numerous wax bags, a hypodermic needles, cotton balls, spoons, and a digital scale were found in the home.
The larger bag of crack cocaine weighed 5.6 grams. Each smaller bag of crack cocaine weighed 0.5 grams. The bag of heroin weighed 4.3 grams.
Paul admitted to selling crack cocaine and heroin with Comar, and said they did this to support their own drug addictions.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.