Police round-up by Guy Page
State police are investigating a shooting incident that occurred Wednesday night, Sept. 20, 2023, at the Mountain View apartments on Mountain View Drive in St. Johnsbury. Troopers responded to a report of a shooting at 10:27 p.m. and then located Antino Pepper, 26, of St. Johnsbury at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, where he had been transported in a private vehicle for treatment.
Pepper suffered a gunshot wound to a lower extremity. He initially was treated at NVRH before being transferred to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, for treatment of the injury, which is not believed to be life-threatening. Troopers are investigating all possibilities in this incident, including information provided by Pepper that this was an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to Caledonian-Record news reports, Pepper was arrested on August 21 in St. Johnsbury for failure to appear in court August 7, taken to the courthouse, then released.
Anyone with information that could assist investigators is asked to call the St. Johnsbury Barracks at 802-748-3111. People also can provide anonymous tips online by visiting https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.
Bennington fentanyl user sentenced for unlawful gun possession – Christopher Morgan, 20, of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was sentenced in federal court Sept. 21 to 1 year and 1 day in prison followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. Morgan previously pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
Bennington police on October 13, 2022 encountered Christopher Morgan while he was carrying a Smith & Wesson 37 revolver in a bag strapped to his torso. The firearm was loaded with five rounds of ammunition and a round in the chamber. In the same bag, Morgan also possessed a small number of glassine bags containing heroin and fentanyl. Morgan admitted to being a user of and addicted to heroin at the time he possessed the firearm.
Wanted by feds, arrested outside Price Chopper – A Sept. 20 traffic stop led to the arrest of two wanted subjects for federal drug trafficking charges. At about 8 PM, a Colchester Police Officer was traveling northbound on Prim Road when an oncoming vehicle crossed the center lane and almost struck the police cruiser head-on. The officer caught up to the vehicle and made a traffic stop in the Price Chopper parking lot.
The driver was 41-year-old Melinda Morgan and the occupant 39-year-old Dale Taylor, both residents of Colchester. Police say Morgan and Taylor had active federal arrest warrants: Morgan for possession with intent to distribute schedule II controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Taylor’s for intent to distribute schedule II controlled substances.
Fake ID charge – A 24-year-old East Barre man was arrested for contributing to a delinquency of a minor after police say he provided a false ID for the purchase of alcohol.
On Sept. 20, Berlin Police Officers were called to the Applebee’s restaurant in Berlin for the report of a false ID attempting to be used to purchase alcohol. Following a brief investigation, Dylan Copping was charged with Contributing to Juvenile Delinquency and cited to appear in court November 2.
Burglars caught on camera – The Williston Police Department is investigating a home burglary during the afternoon of September 16. Police say two males arrived in a Williston neighborhood and committed a burglary of a single residence, where no one was at home at the time. A surveillance camera in the area captured a white 2011-2013 Nissan Rogue with a bike rack leaving the scene with the suspects who got into the back seat. The males were dressed in gardening type bucket hats with masks over their faces, and in the surveillance footage can be heard speaking Spanish.
Busted after parking in handicapped spot…. At 6:30 pm September 21, Troopers from the St. Johnsbury Barracks were refueling their cruisers at the Maplefields in St. Johnsbury when a vehicle partially parked on a handicapped parking space drew their attention. They then saw the operator displaying several signs of impairment. After field sobriety testing, Kristin Lawrence, 38, of Sutton was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI/drugs other than alcohol.