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Most October homicides drug-related, VSP commander says

by Guy Page

Of the eight homicides committed in Vermont in October, most are drug-trafficking related, Vermont State Police commander Col. Matthew Birmingham said at a press conference today.

“The majority of the cases have a drug component to them,” Birmingham said.

He wouldn’t say which cases are drug-related. At least one of the eight – accused fentanyl dealer Jeffrey Caron of Barre, whose body was found in Plainfield last week – has a known drug trafficking connection.

Gov. Phil Scott agreed that illegal drugs are one, if not the main, driver in the killings. “The common thread I see is the drug trafficking,” he said. As details emerge the thread will become more clear, he predicted.

“It’s been building for a while,” Scott said. The administration’s 10-point plan to reduce gun violence, released this summer, is still the right way to go – “just more of it.”

Speeding & law enforcement – When a reporter asked why state troopers don’t pull over speeders going 78 MPH anymore like they did 10-20 years ago, Scott responded:

“10-20 years ago, things were different, we didn’t have the same level of crime.”

Col. Birmingham further explained that speeding is a national problem. Cars are made better and go faster. In Vermont, the VSP have a 15% roster vacancy. There’s an added focus on driving impaired and using cellphones. In short, there’s more grace now for speeders in the 70 and 80 MPH range, he said.

VSP still in Burlington – Vermont State Police are still patrolling in downtown Burlington. They are volunteers and are paid overtime by the City of Burlington.

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