Judge upholds warrant in heroin trafficking case

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BENNINGTON — A Vermont Superior Court judge has upheld the search warrant that led to a local man being charged with trafficking heroin.

Deven D. Moffitt, 27, has denied four felony charges stemming from a search of his Mortimer Street apartment in July 2016 that turned up nearly 500 bags of heroin.

Defense attorney William W. Cobb, representing Moffitt, had argued that evidence obtained through the search should be suppressed because the warrant application relied on statements made by an informant who was not credible.

Judge William D. Cohen, in a decision issued on Wednesday, denied Cobb's motion to suppress. Cohen wrote that the cooperating informant was credible under the standard set by law and that the court had probable cause to issue the warrant.

Judge David A. Howard granted Bennington police a warrant on July 15, 2016. Officers searched Moffitt's apartment the same day and allegedly found 490 bags of heroin, 1.5 grams of cocaine, and 11 strips and two pills of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction. Were the heroin to have been sold, it would have garnered $9,800, according to a court affidavit.

Cohen heard oral arguments from Cobb and Deputy State's Attorney Robert Plunkett in Bennington criminal court on Dec. 19.

Moffitt has pleaded not guilty to felony heroin trafficking, conspiracy to sell drugs, and attempted sale of heroin and heroin possession, and misdemeanor cocaine possession. He has been held on $25,000 bail since his July 2016 arraignment in Rutland.

If convicted of the trafficking charge, Moffitt faces up to 30 years in prison.

Co-defendant Ota Greven, 33, pleaded guilty in September to felony heroin possession. He received a one-to-three year suspended sentence.

Moffitt will return to court for a pre-trial conference on June 1.

Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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