Five face drug-related charges

BENNINGTON — Five people now face drug-related charges in connection with the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine around the Bennington area.

The charges stem from search warrants executed at a Shaftsbury residence and a Bennington hotel room on Wednesday. It's estimated over 400 bags-worth of heroin, some suspected to be responsible for recent overdoses, was found in the hotel room, according to police.

A controlled purchase from Stephanie Holland at her Shaftsbury home yielded 10 bags of heroin stamped "Play Boy" for $140, Robert Plunkett, deputy state's attorney, said in Bennington criminal court on Thursday.

Plunkett said more charges, including drug conspiracy, are pending for Holland and her husband, Clint E. Caccamo.

Holland, 27, pleaded not guilty to felony heroin sale. Caccamo, 29, pleaded not guilty to felony heroin possession. Judge David A. Howard set bail at $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Both Caccamo and Holland have criminal histories and were recently cited for truancy: Vermont State Police said in a news release issued Monday that an investigation showed they contributed to their child missing so many school days it was having a negative impact. They were cited to appear on Feb. 26.

The controlled purchase from Holland led police to execute a search warrant at her and Caccamo's home on Route 67E in Shaftsbury at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday, according to a court affidavit.

In a brown container made to look like a book were 70 bags of heroin stamped "Play Boy." Caccamo "was holding this book in his hand when officers entered the residence and detained him," the affidavit states.

Plunkett said in court that officers found "a room specifically for shooting heroin, and a child's mirror with white residue on it."

During the Shaftsbury search, officers learned about two men staying at and selling heroin and cocaine out of the Paradise Inn Hotel on Main Street in Bennington. Nathaniel A. Santiago "has been brought up numerous times" with people who are supplying the area with heroin and cocaine, an affidavit states. Santiago and David Jordan were confrontational when officers tried to speak with them on Wednesday morning.

Both men told officers they were alone in the room, which officers noted appeared to be well lived-in. But while they were being detained, a woman, MaryBeth Barrett, left the room, according to police, who detained her as well.

Officers on Wednesday afternoon were granted a warrant to search the hotel room and said they found numerous drugs hidden inside of a winter hat. Bags with 50 "rocks" of crack cocaine had an estimated street value of $1,000. A 10.5 gram bag of raw heroin, as well as 60 bags of heroin that weighed 1.5 grams, were estimated to be worth $9,000.

Two cardboard boxes in the room had druggist folds stamped "No Evil" and "Play Boy." Police said the latter stamp has been seen at several overdoses in Bennington.

Barrett, 26, of Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony heroin trafficking and cocaine possession. She was ordered held on $15,000 bail and will return to court on March 13.

Jordan, 27, of Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony heroin trafficking. He was ordered held on $75,000 bail and will return to court on Feb. 21

Santiago, 32, of Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony heroin trafficking and cocaine possession. He was ordered held on $50,000 bail and will return to court on March 7.

The investigation was conducted by officers with the Bennington Police Department, Bennington County Sheriff's Department and the Vermont State Police.

Ed Damon can be reached at, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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