Two arrested on drug, fugitive charges in joint police operation in Berlin

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BETHEL — Two individuals were arrested Thursday following a multi-agency operation involving possession of methamphetamine and outstanding warrants, authorities said.

Sgt. James Beraldi of the Windsor County Sheriff’s Department initiated the investigation on Feb. 20 after reports of criminal activity in Bethel.

The probe led to Allen J. Ballou, 38, and Hope Schraer, 36, both residents of Berlin, who were found to be in possession of drugs and firearms.

With evidence gathered, Sgt. Beraldi, alongside Game Warden Bella Kline, secured a warrant to search a room at Hilltop Hotel in Berlin.

The search warrant was executed on Feb. 23 with assistance from the Berlin Police Department, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations HSI.

During the operation, officers seized 10.7 grams of crystal methamphetamine and a loaded .45 caliber handgun.

Ballou and Schraer, who both had outstanding warrants from New Hampshire, were taken into custody.

Ballou was wanted for possession of methadone, and Schraer for theft exceeding $1,501.

The suspects were lodged at Southern State Correctional Facility with Ballou held on $20,000 bail and Schraer on $10,000 bail.

They have been cited to appear at Washington County Court on Feb. 26 to address the fugitive charges.

Ballou faces an additional charge of possession of methamphetamine.

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