by Guy Page
Police dogs in recent, separate incidents on both sides of Vermont helped apprehend out-of-staters with illegal drug connections who were fleeing human police, police say.
According to Burlington police, on Friday, Nov. 13 a Colchester police dog sniffed narcotics in a vehicle, operated by Jason Kelsaw of Detroit, Michigan, which was parked at the Malletts Bay McDonalds. Kelsaw was being investigated by Colchester Police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
Kelsaw then fled by car into the New North End of Burlington. After leaving the car he was tracked by two other police dogs. Eventually he was found by police in a New North End shed, and according to subsequent news reports surrendered without incident.
A day later, on Saturday, November 14 Vermont State Police from the Royalton barracks saw a black SUV traveling south on I-89 at a high rate of speed, Vermont State Police said.
Troopers caught up to the vehicle, attempted to initiate a traffic stop and the vehicle accelerated away from them. A pursuit was initiated and multiple Troopers with the Vermont State Police persued the vehicle until being instructed to terminate the pursuit.
Troopers maintained visual contact with the vehicle until crossing into New Hampshire and relaying the vehicle’s location to New Hampshire authorities. Authorities from New Hampshire apprehended and stopped the vehicle. The operator, identified as Erik J. Smith of East Hartford, Connecticut, fled on foot into the woods, and was pursued by a K9.
New Hampshire State Police suspected Smith to be under the influence of intoxicants and charged him with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Smith was also found to be on federal parole. Vermont State Police issued Smith a citation for Grossly Negligent Operation and Eluding a police officer. Smith was cited to appear in Windsor Superior Court Criminal Division on 01/12/2021 to answer to the charges.