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EXCLUSIVE: Growing frustrations for out-of-staters committing crimes in Vermont

By Michael Bielawski,


A suspect in a shooting that occurred in October of last year was apprehended in Union, New Jersey on Jan 4. This is the latest incident that involves out-of-state residents committing crimes in Vermont.



The initial incident occurred at 170 Twitchell Hill Road in Shaftsbury, Vermont.


According to the police report, at about 11:03 on Oct. 23, the Vermont State Police got a 911 call indicating that someone had been shot at a residence above where the caller lived. When troopers arrived they found a man who had been shot, and another person had injuries but was not shot and did not seek medical attention.


The man who was shot was taken by the Bennington Rescue Squad and then airlifted to Albany Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries. The report indicated that this was an isolated incident.


In an updated press release on Friday, more details were revealed. It states, “Investigation revealed that Mohamed Hamdi, age 32, of Union, NJ, and another male, entered the residence and forced the occupants into the basement.


“While in the basement, Nicholas Baker and Joseph Maccioli were assaulted and Joseph was shot while attempting to flee. Mohamed was apprehended on January 4th, 2024, in Union, NJ, by the US Marshals Service and the New Jersey State Police. Mohamed is awaiting extradition to Vermont. The incident is still under investigation.”


Folks fed up with out-of-state criminals


On social media, some people are sounding the alarm that out-of-state drug dealers are becoming increasingly a problem.


@CaptainJackSass on X wrote, “I agree with you about the Handys. Prog’s are responsible for the environment we are in now. I would like to know if all those homeless drug addicted people that need help are from Vermont. Every drug-related arrest /shooting story everyone is out of state. If you build it they.”


Another X user @PoppotGroup wrote, “Vermont authorities have reported a huge ongoing uptick in the number of out-of-state teenagers being recruited — especially by gangs — to come to the Green Mountains for drug trafficking because of the lax state laws and courts.”


@VincentGambino6 wrote, “The only thing these programs will do is bring in more people from out of state that see Vermont as a easy place to sell drugs. Don’t sight some study from Denmark. Americans shooting up animal tranquilizers don’t have a ton in common with the Danes.”


State lawmakers seek to curve homicides


The Green Mountain State lawmakers are aware that crimes are up including homicides. According to Vermont State Police, the state has surpassed 20 homicides in each of the past two years, with 27 in 2023 and 24 in 2022.


Out-of-state drug dealers may be part of the issue. In October the Vermont Daily Chronicle reported that a federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment against Rockylane Lewis, 33, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Aisha Davy, 36, of Springfield, Massachusetts; and Holly Howard, 49, of Brattleboro.


Governor Phil Scott in his recent State of the State Address noted that crime is rising.

“And in the last 10 years, violent crime reported to police increased 56%, aggravated assault by 65%, sexual assault by 76%, and homicide by 166%. We cannot deny these trends,” he said.


Burlington’s Mayor Weinberger on Thursday put out a commentary indicating that drugs are fueling the crime waves.


“We have seen a more than 300% increase in overdose deaths over the last decade, losing 264 Vermonters in 2022, and the drug crisis is driving dramatic increases in serious crimes like shootings, homicides, and vehicle theft statewide,” he wrote.


The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle

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