DERBY –– An alert from Poulin Lumber in Derby about suspicious purchases led the State Police Derby Barracks to an ongoing investigation involving both theft and narcotics trafficking.
The investigation began after it was revealed that on August 4, Randy Buzzell, 27, of Newport, had fraudulently charged over $1,000 worth of power tools and hand tools to a business account of Heritage Slate.
The business, for which Buzzell was previously an employee, was unaware of these charges. On his second attempt to make such a purchase the following day, vigilant store employees denied the transaction.
After establishing probable cause, authorities believed the stolen items were located at a nearby residence. The residence was subsequently seized, and a search operation led to the recovery of the stolen goods which were promptly returned to Poulin Lumber.
Unexpectedly, evidence hinting at narcotics trafficking was unearthed during the search.
Collaborating in the search were officers from various departments, including the Newport Police Department, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, and the VT Fish and Wildlife Warden Service Division.
Yesterday, a further court-sanctioned search of the seized items revealed:
Approximately 640 bags of fentanyl
Roughly 30 grams of crack cocaine
A significant amount of US currency
The estimated street value of these narcotics stands at around $12,000.
The case is currently active, with the Vermont State Police working closely with the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office. Developments on both theft and narcotics facets of the investigation are expected.
Randy Buzzell has been cited and is scheduled to appear in court regarding the theft. More details will be shared with the public as they emerge.