WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A couple accused of borrowing a relative’s young child and using her to attempt to smuggle drugs into the Springfield jail have been brought up on criminal charges in connection with that August incident.
Inmate Benjamin Gramling, 28, resolved his role in the case this week with a guilty plea to possession of narcotics while his girlfriend, Jessica Page, 27, of Chester, continued her case forward with innocent pleas to misdemeanor charges of bringing drugs into a detention facility and cruelty to a child.
Gramling, who is currently serving a sentence for possession of heroin, had an additional 20 days added onto his current jail term as a result of his guilty plea.
Benjamin Gramling, 28, resolved his case with a guilty plea this week that called for 20 more days behind bars
State police were called in to investigate in August after guards said they spotted Page putting something into the pocket of a 5-year-old girl and then handing the girl, who is related to Gramling, over a table to him during what was supposed to be a family visit at the correctional facility.
After Gramling was seen removing something from the girl’s clothing and then putting it into his pants the guards moved in to end the visit and whisked Gramling away from the visitor’s table and took him to a “dry cell” without a flush toilet.
Guards said that after initially denying anything was awry, Gramling eventually admitted that he had been passed a “slug” of contraband and he retrieved it from a body cavity and turned it over to the corrections officers who opened it and determined that it contained 50 buprenorphine strips which are normally used to treat opiate addition but which can be abused on their own.
Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Jesse Robson wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that he later interviewed Page about her alleged role in the smuggling attempt but he said she insisted that it had been a normal visit with her boyfriend and “that nothing happened.”
Page, who has a history of drug-related convictions and arrests in New Hampshire, faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 3 years in prison if she were to be convicted of both of the charges now pending against her.
Jessica Page, 27, is facing smuggling and child cruelty charges
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