2 men facing drug charges

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MANCHESTER — The Vermont Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have taken two men into custody — including one with an alleged connection to the victims of an Oct. 28 double homicide in Townsend — in connection with an alleged heroin ring in the Manchester area.

On Wednesday morning, according to a federal affidavit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, the Drug Task Force served a warrant at the Four Winds Motel on Main Street and took Jonathan "Bovice" Resto and Anthony C. "Ant" Casiano into custody. They are expected to appear at U.S. District Court in Burlington on Thursday to face charges of distributing heroin. Casiano is also charged with distributing fentanyl.

The manager of the hotel, Sam Patel, told the Journal that two men and one women had checked into the hotel yesterday. "When I woke up I saw that the policemen were pulling into the parking lot," he said.

According to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, the investigation into Casiano and Resto began on Oct. 28, the day after Steven Lovely and Amanda Sanderson were found slain in their Townsend home, which had burned to the ground.

Justin Orwat, of Springfield, Mass., has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and arson charges in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division, in the deaths of Lovely and Sanderson. He is being held without bail.

According to the affidavit, a confidential informant told investigators that Lovely was providing heroin to the informant and to Resto for sale in the Manchester area.

According to the affidavit, for about six months the informant was getting 20 "bricks" of heroin containing 50 bags each from Lovely every couple of days.

The affidavit says that the informant would then sell the heroin for Lovely in Manchester and then return the money to him. According to the informant, Lovely had a lot of cash on hand at all times and had been seen with firearms.

The day after Lovely and Sanderson's bodies were found, the informant in Manchester told investigators that Lovely was initially working with Kwesi "Pablo" Wilson, a Jamaican who was deported six months ago. Following the deportation, the informant met directly with Lovely "to get large quantities of drugs from him, which the informant would then distribute in the Manchester, Vermont area," the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, the informant conducted a total of four controlled buys of heroin from Resto in a hotel room in Manchester, two each on Nov. 14 and two more on Nov. 21 and Nov. 27. Following the first two purchases, the informant told investigators that Casiano was also in the motel room.

On Dec. 14, according to the affidavit, Manchester police pulled over a vehicle being driven by the informant in which Casiano was a passenger. The informant told police Casiano was getting a ride from Manchester "to another location."

According to the affidavit, the informant insisted that Casiano "was not involved in the distribution of controlled substances but was only visiting Resto. ... After seeing the drug operation in Manchester, Casiano became uncomfortable with the situation and wished to leave.

"The informant reported that when the police stopped them, the [informant] was picking Casiano up and bringing him to another location where he would be making arrangements to return to Massachusetts," the affidavit said.

However, investigators learned that on Monday, both Resto and Casiano returned to Manchester from Massachusetts and, according to the affidavit, "were waiting for their controlled substances to be delivered to them by another person."


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