Man and woman held for conspiracy to exchange one drug for another

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BENNINGTON>> A man and woman are each being held for lack of $5,000 bail after police say they conspired to exchange marijuana for a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

Greer Gallant, 40, and Mark J. Stratton, 32, both of Bennington and the case's two co-defendants, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a felonious count of drug conspiracy. In addition, Gallant pleaded not guilty to felony count of the sale of narcotic less than 100 doses, while Stratton pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of marijuana sale under five ounces.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Robert Murawski, he was dispatched to Stratton's Pleasant Street apartment on Dec. 12, where authorities found marijuana and suspected narcotic activity.

Stratton, who has a criminal history in Vermont, was on furlough at the time and the Field Supervision Unit (FSU) of Probation and Parol found marijuana in his home. While searching Stratton's cell phone, a FSU officer found text messages between Stratton and Gallant that indicated illicit activity.

Stratton allegedly told police he was going to meet Gallant later that day and that he intended to give her marijuana in exchange for "bupe," a slang term for the drug buprenorphine. The regulated drug is an active ingredient in the brand names Suboxone and Subutex, used to treat opioid addiction, and federal laws only allow its administration by physicians with certain training.

The affidavit did not include the amount of either drug.

When police went to Greer's residence, she allegedly said she knew why police were there.

Both Greer and Stratton were taken into custody and processed at the Bennington Police Department.

The co-defendants attorney, Frederick Bragdon, argued against probably cause relating to the conspiracy count, but was denied by Judge Cortland T. Corsones.

Gallant will next appear in court Feb. 22 and was ordered to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, South Burlington. Stratton will next appear in court Jan. 25 and was ordered to the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility, Rutland.

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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