WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Putney resident who was out on pre-trial conditions while awaiting the resolution of kidnapping and extortion charges that were filed against him last year has now been charged with selling fentanyl-laced heroin to a police informant in Springfield back in May.
William “Wild Bill” Dalling, 61, pleaded innocent last week to a felony count alleging sale of fentanyl that was filed along with a habitual offender petition which could increase the penalty for any conviction clear up to life in prison under Vermont’s so-called “four-strikes-and-you’re-out” law.
Dalling had already been facing a potential life sentence after he pleaded innocent in February of last year to felony charges of kidnapping and extortion for allegedly forcing a Springfield woman into a car at knifepoint and threatening to kill her over a $250 debt. Dalling was released from the courthouse last year after signing for a $25,000 unsecured appearance bond and that case is still slowly working its way through the court system.
After arraigning Dalling on the new charge last week, Judge Timothy Tomasi agreed to release him on additional pre-trial conditions including a 24-hour-a-day curfew at his current residence in Putney. Dalling had previously listed his towns of residence as Charlestown and Claremont, New Hampshire.
In paperwork filed at the court, detectives with the Vermont Drug Task Force said they had one of their informants arrange to purchase heroin from a known drug dealer in Springfield back in May. Detectives said their original suspect then unwittingly introduced their informant to Dalling during a “controlled buy” operation, with the suspected drug dealer explaining to the informant that Dalling, whom police have said was once reputed to be associated with the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club, “used to be a big deal.”
The detectives said that Dalling allegedly sold the informant four bags of heroin with the street brand name “110 percent” and a subsequent test of the drugs showed the presence of fentanyl which has been blamed for numerous overdose deaths in New England in recent years.
The still open kidnapping case allegedly took place on the evening of October 18, 2016 when Dalling, his girlfriend at the time Elizabeth Watson, 38, and an unidentified woman who gave her name as just “Jennifer” allegedly drove to the residence of Ella Michaud, 52, on Park Street in Springfield and demanded that Michaud put them in touch with her 27-year-old daughter, Sharon, because, the trio claimed, Sharon had stolen money from Jennifer, Springfield Police Officer Coriander Santagate explained in an affidavit that was filed with the court.
A shaken Ella Michaud told police a short time after the alleged incident took place that the two women had “displayed knives in a threatening manner, waving them in her direction and making stabbing motions,” Officer Santagate wrote, adding, “(Michaud) told me she was in fear for her safety and thought they were going to hurt her.”
In her statement to police, Michaud said that once she was forced into the car and Dalling began driving to her daughter’s residence on a nearby street both Dalling and Watson allegedly threatened her, saying that if she told anyone she would be dead.
“Elizabeth (Watson) pulled her hair during the ride, causing her pain (and) Elizabeth hit her in the face, knocking her glasses off,” Santagate wrote, noting, “Dalling’s law enforcement records indicate that he is known to carry knives on his person and has a history of violence.”
A witness at the apartment house where Ella Michaud lives corroborated part of her story, telling police she “observed two women come into the house threatening Sharon with the Hell’s Angels” and writing in a sworn statement to police that she heard one of the women say that all she had to do “is make a call and the Hell’s Angels would be here in 30 minutes.”
Santagate’s affidavit said “according to other law enforcement officers and Dalling’s law enforcement record, Dalling is suspected to be affiliated with the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club.” Santagate continued that the trio told the older Michaud that if they could not locate her daughter then she would be responsible for paying them back the money they felt they were owed but it did not indicate exactly how that situation was resolved before she was able to get to a phone and call police.
Springfield officers spoke to Dalling and Watson later in the evening and Officer Santagate said that while they refused to provide a last name for “Jennifer,” they did admit “they had picked up Sharon’s mother from her home and tried to make contact with Sharon, who did not come to the door…neither Watson nor Dalling indicated that there had been any threat of anything physical during the incident.”
Dalling’s criminal record indicates that he was convicted in 2000 of burglary and first degree unlawful restraint and given a suspended sentence as part of a case which was originally charged as a kidnapping.
The extortion charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to three years in jail but the charge of kidnapping while placing the victim in fear of bodily injury provides for up to a life term, if Dalling were to be convicted.
Dalling at his February 2017 arraignment on kidnapping and extortion charges
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