UPDATE: Former deputy, dispatcher, pleads not guilty to drug charges
BENNINGTON - A former Bennington County Sheriff's deputy and Manchester Police dispatcher has been charged with selling prescription medication through a woman he was allegedly having an affair with, as well as forging insurance documents for her.
Gary F. Harrington, 41, of Arlington, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Vermont Superior Court to three felony counts of narcotic sale, seven misdemeanor counts of narcotic possession, felony counts of extortion, and forgery, and a misdemeanor charge of neglect of duty by a public officer.
He was arrested Wednesday, and Judge Nancy Corsones opted to leave the $10,000 bail imposed on him in place, while adding conditions that he not leave the county, and abide by a 24-hour curfew with exceptions for medical, and legal appointments. He can also leave the home if he is with his wife.
The state had requested $25,000 bail be placed on Harrington, but his attorney, William D. Wright, argued that his client is not a flight risk and has strong ties to the community.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police, on Wednesday a woman told them she had been in a sexual relationship with Harrington since December. She said he overlooked the fact the she was driving a vehicle with a suspended license, and supplied her with a false insurance card after she was in a car crash.
She told police Harrington gave her prescription narcotic pills for her to sell, and that she gave him some of the profits. She told police where the pills could be found in his home. A search warrant was executed, and hundreds of pills were discovered.
Wright argued at the arraignment hearing that the medications were all valid, just old, and that his client has dealt with chronic back pain for a number of years.
Bennington County Sheriff Chad Schmidt said Harrington worked for the department on and off for 18 years, but has been fired. Manchester Police Chief Michael Hall said Harrington worked for his department as a dispatcher and a special police officer, but he has been terminated from those positions.
State's Attorney Erica Marthage said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is also investigating Harrington.
Wright said his client gave up his license as a federal firearms dealer some time ago.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.
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