BRATTLEBORO >> Three men with connections to the Brattleboro area have been charged with a number of drug offenses.
According to court documents, Childlove Gelin, 24, also known as Rome and Haiti, John Jones, 30, also known as Champ, and Joshua Heathman, also known as Eric, are suspected of distributing heroin in and around Brattleboro. The most current address for all three men is in Springfield, Mass.
Gelin and Jones have been charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, along with several counts of knowingly distributing heroin and cocaine. Heathman has been charged with distributing heroin and cocaine. The activity occurred in Vermont "and elsewhere" between early 2015 and April 2016.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the State of Vermont, Gelin and Heathman were arrested earlier this year in Vermont, pursuant to the grand jury indictment and federal arrest warrant. Jones was recently arrested in Springfield, Mass., pursuant to the grand jury indictment and federal arrest warrant. Gelin and Jones were ordered detained pending trial. Heathman was released on conditions.
The investigation into the three men began on July 13, 2015, in Brattleboro when the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force conducted a controlled purchase of six grams of crack cocaine from Gelin and Jones. According to court documents, the task force had purchased heroin and cocaine from the pair in the past in an apartment at 23 South Main St.
A few minutes after the July 13 deal was concluded, Gelin and Jones left the apartment and got into a car with Connecticut license plates. Before a marked police car could stop the vehicle, it turned onto Interstate 91, heading south. Detectives with the task force followed the car into Massachusetts, where they contacted the State Police, asking for the vehicle to be stopped. At mile marker 46 in Greenfield, Mass., a state trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver pulled away beginning a pursuit that would reach speeds of up to 130 mph. Due to the speed of the fleeing vehicle, troopers were advised to discontinue pursuit and they lost sight of the vehicle in the vicinity of Deerfield.
The Massachusetts State Police received a report at just past 7 p.m. that two men were seen walking through a cornfield in Deerfield at the same time as when state police cruisers were in the area. Gelin and Jones were later located hiding in a barn in Deerfield.
Troopers confiscated drug paraphernalia from the pair, as well as cash and cell phones that were linked to the sale of drugs in Brattleboro.
According to the Keene, N.H., Sentinel, Gelin was arrested on Aug. 9, 2013, and cited with possession of cocaine with intent to sell. At the time, his town of residence was listed as West Chesterfield, N.H. Other published reports state his town of residence as Springfield, Mass. According to the Greenfield, Mass., Recorder, Gelin pleaded guilty on April 11 for possession of cocaine, failure to stop for police, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, speeding and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160.