An arrest of two Massachusetts men for a kidnapping resulted in the seizure of about 8 grams of suspected fentanyl, 20 blue pills suspected to be fentanyl and 31 grams of suspected cocaine, in Bennington on Tuesday. Police also located a black and silver Ruger LCP .380-caliber handgun, with ammo.

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BENNINGTON — A Massachusetts couple is being held without bail for their role in kidnapping a Bennington woman Monday over a drug debt.

Maurice Edwards, 31, of Springfield, and Jacquelyn L. Valdez, 30, of Northampton, were held on charges of kidnapping, unlawful trespass into an occupied dwelling, trafficking fentanyl and possession of cocaine.

The case began to unfold late Monday afternoon, when the Bennington Police Department received a report that a Bennington woman, 30, had been kidnapped and taken to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Investigators learned that the woman would be returned to Bennington for payment of someone else’s outstanding $1,500 drug debt. An individual working with police notified the kidnappers that the money would be paid, and that they should bring the woman back to her home state.

At about 1:10 a.m. Tuesday, Bennington Police found the victim, along with four other people, in a car in front of 258 Benmont Ave. When Edwards and Valdez exited the car with the victim, the two suspects saw police and ran into an apartment at 258 Benmont. Officers made sure the victim was safe and uninjured. They also learned at that time that the two other car occupants were Uber employees.

Police then found Edwards and Valdez inside an apartment unlawfully, and they were taken into custody without incident.

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During Edwards’ and Valdez’s arrest, police seized from them about 8 grams of suspected fentanyl (equivalent to 400 bags), 20 blue pills suspected to be fentanyl and 31 grams of suspected cocaine.

Police also located a black and silver Ruger LCP .380-caliber handgun. The handgun wasn’t loaded, but a loaded clip with five .380 full metal jacket bullets was recovered in the kitchen area. The handgun, a cellphone and the suspected fentanyl was found in a bathroom.

Edwards and Valdez will appear in Vermont Superior Court-Bennington Criminal Division on Wednesday at 12:30 pm. Both were scheduled to be taken to Marble Valley Correctional Center Tuesday Evening.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Corey Briggs at the Bennington Police Department or through its website

This story has been corrected to reflect that Jacquelyn L. Valdez is a woman.


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