Police Launch Drug Sweep In Bennington County

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In Bennington, 46 suspected drug dealers are in police custody after what officials are calling one of the largest arrest sweeps in Vermont history.

More than 100 law enforcement officers conducted simultaneous raids in locations in and around Bennington. Arrests began Tuesday night but most occurred on Wednesday.

In one case, police searched a Bennington home where they found 83 bags of heroin, more than 12 grams of crack cocaine, and 47 OxyContin pills.

Colonel Thomas L’Esperance, director of the Vermont state police, spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"The investigation started over the summer, so it was a long, drawn out investigation with a goal to take off as many people dealing drugs here in Bennington and Bennington County as we possibly could," L’Esperance said.

Officials say they don’t believe the arrests were related to a coordinated drug ring.  But Bennington Police chief Paul Doucette says the investigation began because Bennington police were aware of gang activity in the area.

Police hoped to take 63 people into custody. They say the search is continuing for the suspects still at large.

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