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BENNINGTON — A 33-year-old Albany, N.Y., man — one of three suspects involved in a drug-related search warrant in Bennington — died in police custody Thursday afternoon after the Bennington Police Department arrested him.

Vermont State Police identified the man Friday in a news release as Darrel Jones, “who has resided most recently in Albany, New York, and in Pennsylvania.” VSP said an autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington was conducted Friday, but the cause of death ruling is awaiting toxicology testing results, which could take “several weeks to several months.”

VSP troopers, who were called in per standard procedure after the death, stated there is no indication that Bennington Police used physical force on Jones.

Jones was taken into custody around 3:50 p.m. as Bennington officers served a search warrant at the Apple Valley Inn on U.S. Route 7. He was arrested and taken to the Bennington Police Department, where he was placed in a holding cell. A Bennington Police officer found him unresponsive at about 4:40 p.m.

According to a statement released by Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette on Friday, Jones was observed unresponsive, sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall. The officer checked him and immediately requested assistance from the Bennington Rescue Squad. The officer then evaluated Jones and began providing emergency medical care. Members of the rescue squad arrived and continued providing medical care. All efforts to revive Jones failed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A news release from the Vermont State Police stated that Jones was pronounced dead at 5:19 p.m. His name was withheld until late Friday, pending notification of his family.

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Following standard procedure, according to the VSP release, Bennington Police notified the Vermont State Police of the death at 5:30 p.m., and detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations responded to the station to perform a death investigation. That probe continued into Friday morning.

“The Bennington Police Department is participating and will continue to fully cooperate with this investigation,” Doucette said of the investigation into death of the suspect. “Based on the pending investigation, no further info is available at this time.”

Inquiries to the Bennington PD for further comment were unanswered.

As a result of the search warrant and evidence located, Jody Dwyer, 47, and Zachary Rose, 35, both of Bennington, were charged with possession of a controlled substance. Dwyer and Rose were issued a citation to appear in Bennington Superior Court on Monday for the offense. Rose was detained on an outstanding arrest warrant related to charges of heroin possession, cocaine possession, and depressant possession. He allegedly failed to appear for a court date this past February.

Rose was arraigned Friday afternoon on three counts, heroin possession, cocaine possession, and narcotic possession, all related to his outstanding warrant. He was escorted in to the courtroom in chains by both a sheriff’s deputy and a Bennington Police officer. Rose pleaded not guilty to all counts and was given a $500 bail. He has a second arraignment later this week on the drug charge stemming from the motel incident. Dwyer will be arraigned separately.


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