Hartford Rest Area Heroin Suspects Busted Again

Less than a week after their previous trafficking arrests

HARTFORD, VT - Five days after three Northeast Kingdom men were stopped at the Hartford Rest Area and charged with heroin trafficking, police say that two of them were caught again and charged, along with two other suspects, with conspiracy to import heroin up Interstate 91 from western Massachusetts to northern Vermont.

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    A total of four Vermonters, all residents of Island Pond area, were arrested this time around, Vermont State Police announced Thursday at the conclusion of their latest investigation which began on Tuesday, March 21 after they learned that Massachusetts State Police had stopped Jesse Ramcke, 30, and Travis Pelletier, 27, on I-91 in Bernardston, Massachusetts while they were allegedly heading back to Vermont in a green Chevy Malibu with 601 bags of heroin.

    Pelletier, who along with Ramcke is now facing felony charges of conspiracy to violate drug laws in the state of Massachusetts and possession with intent to distribute a Class A drug, had been ordered just four days beforehand not to leave Essex County, Vermont as a condition of his pre-trial release when he appeared at the Windsor County Courthouse in downtown White River Junction for arraignment on felony charges of heroin trafficking, trafficking heroin into Vermont, and drug conspiracy.

Travis Pelletier, 27, was arrested five days beforehand and now faces multiple counts in Vermont and Massachusetts

    Vermont authorities determined that the 2003 Malibu the pair were arrested in on the evening of March 21st belonged to Jamie Cross, 35, and that she and Clair Deslandes Sr., 58, had allegedly conspired with Pelletier and Ramcke to set up the drug run to import heroin back up to the Northeast Kingdom to use and sell, Vermont State Police Sgt. John Helfant said in a statement.

Clair Deslandes Sr., 58, has a history of federal drug convictions

    Deslandes, a homeowner in Island Pond who has worked for the past nine years at the Ethan Allen furniture factory there, had been arrested on March 16th at the Hartford Rest Area by the Vermont State Police as he allegedly returned from a drug run to Connecticut along with Pelletier and Logan Dupuis, 20, of Newport.  The three men were arraigned the next day where they each pleaded innocent to multiple felony trafficking related charges after state police said they found 1,418 bags of heroin in their car.

Jamie Cross, 35, allegedly provided the car that the men took to Massachusetts to buy drugs

    As a result of the new follow-up investigation, Deslandes, Pelletier, Ramcke and Cross have all been cited to appear at the courthouse in White River Junction on May 23rd to answer felony charges of conspiracy to traffick and deliver heroin and Pelletier, who was described in court last time as a self-employed logger, will also be arraigned on an additional three counts alleging that he violated his court-ordered conditions of pre-trial release imposed during his  previous appearance before the judge.

Jesse Ramcke, 30, is facing multiple felony charges in Vermont and Massachusetts

Vermont News can be contacted at vermontnews802@gmail.com

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