Hartford Police Seek Public’s Help with Preventing Thefts, Identifying Suspects

 Hartford, Vermont, Tuesday, May 8, 2019 – Police were dispatched late yesterday to a private residence along the 100 block of Hollow Drive for a theft of several thousand dollars of firearms taken from a vehicle that had been left parked for several days while the owner traveled.  All but one of those firearms were recovered yesterday when Massachusetts State Police Troopers and investigators, and the Holyoke Police arrested 32 year old Timothy Keith of White River Junction and 33 year old Phillip Damone of Grantham, New Hampshire when the two attempted to exchange the firearms for drugs and cash.   For more information, see: mspnews.org/2019/05/illegally-possessed-firearms-and-narcotics-seized-in-joint-effort-in-holyoke/


During their investigation yesterday, Hartford Police spoke with several residents along Hollow Drive and learned that thieves had entered at least two other unlocked vehicles and removed loose change overnight between Monday the 5th and Tuesday morning the 6th.  This is the third occurrence reported in the past two weeks in the Wilder Village area where thieves have removed loose change, a purse, and barber tools from vehicles parked overnight.  Residents are reminded to roll-up car windows, lock car doors and remove valuables from sight when leaving vehicles unattended.  Also, residents are asked to report unfamiliar vehicles and persons roaming neighborhoods and parking lots during the late evening and early morning hours by calling 911.  Anyone with information about these incidents, or anyone who still needs to make a report to police is asked to contact the Hartford Police Department at 802-295-9425.  The investigation continues…

Canaan Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison for Child Porn

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CONCORD NHZachary A. C. Benoit, 28, of Canaan, was sentenced to 156 months in prison for transportation and possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

             According to court documents and statements made in court, in the summer of 2017, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Department was conducting an online investigation into individuals involved in the trading of illegal images of child pornography.  Benoit was identified after he uploaded numerous images of child sexual abuse, which were intercepted by law enforcement.  Forensic examinations of several of Benoit’s electronic devices revealed thousands of images and videos depicting the sexual assaults of children including babies and toddlers.

Benoit previously pleaded guilty on November 7, 2018.

“It is critical that we safeguard children from being exploited on the internet” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “To that end, we will continue to allocate substantial resources to stopping the distribution of these terrible images in New Hampshire.  In conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we will prioritize the investigation and prosecution of offenses involving child pornography.”

“This is a very appropriate sentence in light of the truly disturbing facts of this case” said Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston. “The successful prosecution of this individual could not have happened without the close coordination that we share with our very dedicated New Hampshire law enforcement partners, and with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose work in this case was invaluable.”

 This matter was investigated by the Grafton County Sheriff’s Department, Lebanon Police Department, Nashua Police Department, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen W. Fitzgibbon.

In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Update- Quechee Man Charge with Domestic Assault Shot by Officer

Hartford Vt – Vermont State Police identify trooper in officer-involved shooting

HARTFORD, Vermont (May 6, 2019) — The Vermont State Police is identifying the member involved in this incident as Trooper Eric Vitali of the Royalton Barracks. He was hired in 2005 and initially assigned to the Rockingham Barracks. He transferred to the Westminster Barracks in 2016 and the Royalton Barracks in 2018.

Preliminary investigation shows that James Luce was armed with a shotgun, which he had just used to fire at the home located on Quechee West Hartford Road in Hartford, while he was moving away from Hartford, Vermont, and Lebanon, New Hampshire, police officers and toward members of the Vermont State Police. Luce was ordered by state police to drop the firearm and not pick it up again, but when he failed to comply, Trooper Vitali responded by firing his shotgun one time, grazing Luce. He received minor abrasions and was treated and released from Mount Ascutney Hospital.

The investigation by Vermont State Police into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

Quechee Man Charged with Domestic Assault

Hartford, Vermont – Police charged 19 year old James Luce of White River Junction with 1st Degree Aggravated Domestic Assault, Aggravated Assault, Reckless Endangerment, and Resisting Arrest overnight as a result of events that occurred at the residence located at 4536 Quechee West Hartford Road.

Just after 7:00 PM  Sunday night, Hartford Police were dispatched to 4536 Quechee West Hartford Road for a domestic assault where the suspect was alleged to have a shotgun in his possession.   While  in route to the home, police received updated information that the man had fired the shotgun at the house and fled on foot into the nearby woods.  Officers from Hartford and the Lebanon, New Hampshire, Police Department encountered a man armed with shotgun walking in the road near the residence.  The man refused to comply with orders from the police officers but did not threaten anyone with the shotgun at that time.  Shortly after, the man encountered Vermont State Police troopers who had responded to assist.   The man again refused to comply with commands, and a state trooper fired at the suspect one time with a shotgun.  The suspect continued to be non-compliant, and an electronic control device (Taser) was deployed to bring the man under control.

In accordance with procedure, Luce was assessed by paramedics at the scene, and taken by police to Mount Ascutney Hospital as a precaution.  He sustained minor abrasions.  No police officers or other individuals were injured during this incident.

The Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit is investigating the officer-involved shooting.  Investigators from the Vermont State Police Crime Scene Unit are also assisting with the officer-involved shooting, and the domestic assault investigation. Luce is currently awaiting arraignment proceedings before the District Court for Windsor County early this afternoon.  The investigation continues and further charges may be forthcoming.

Daytime Burglary Suspect Arrested in West Lebanon

Lebanon NH – On Friday April 26, 2019, shortly before 3:00 PM, a UPS delivery driver reported a suspicious male walking and approaching homes in a neighborhood off Seminary Hill, in West Lebanon. Lebanon officers were sent to investigate and given a description of the male suspect. A responding officer observed the suspect walking down Seminary Hill and attempted to contact him when the suspect took off running. A short foot chase ensued before the suspect was taken into custody on South Main St.
The male was identified as Marcello Terino, age 28, of White River Jct., VT. Terino was found to be in possession of various articles belonging to multiple residents from the West Lebanon neighborhood, where the suspicious behavior had been reported. Officers were able to determine that Terino had just burglarized a household while the residents were at work.
Terino was arrested and charged with Burglary, a Class B Felony, and resisting arrest or detention, a Class A Misdemeanor. The investigation is on-going, and further charges may still be pending. He was held at the Grafton County House of Corrections, without bail, and was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday April 29, 2019 at the Grafton County Superior Court.

Update Regarding January 27, 2019 Death in Lebanon

https://wntk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/death-investigation.jpgConcord, NH – New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald, New Hampshire State Police Colonel Christopher J. Wagner, and Lebanon Police Chief Richard R. Mello announce the cause and manner of death has been determined for an adult female who died at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Susan Massey, age 67, of East Corinth, Vermont, was receiving treatment at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center when she died on January 27, 2019. The Lebanon Police, Department of Justice and the New Hampshire State Police were notified. It is not unusual for each agency to regularly receive reports of witnessed or unattended deaths that cannot quickly and easily be identified as a natural, accidental, or suicidal death. In this matter, the agencies were initially informed that there were concerns about the circumstances of Ms. Massey’s death, and an investigation ensued.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie V. Duval has now determined that Ms. Massey’s death was the result of complications of disease, and that her manner of death was natural.

Grafton Man Charged in Route 4 Shooting

Grafton NH -On 29 April 2019 at approximately 3:15 pm the NH State Police received information that the Grafton Police Department were responding to a road rage incident on Route 4 where an individual had been shot with a firearm.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2011 Ford Flex, operated by Joseph Brown age 38 from Grafton, and a 2011 Ford Escape, operated by a 46 year old male from Grafton, were traveling north on Route 4 in the town of Grafton.  While the vehicles were in motion a confrontation began to ensue for unknown reasons at this time.  That confrontation lead to the vehicle’s colliding with one another on Route 4, resulting in minor damage to both vehicles.


After the initial collision, both vehicles pulled to the side of the road, and both drivers exited and continued their confrontation which turned into a minor physical assault.  After the assault concluded Brown shot the victim in the abdomen with a handgun.

Brown was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree assault.   The victim was transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center where he underwent surgery for his injuries.  The victim is expected to survive.

Brown will be arraigned in the Grafton County Superior Court April 30th at 1:30 pm.

The NH State Police Troop F were assisted by the Grafton Police, Canaan Police, Enfield Police, State Police Major Crimes Unit and the State Police Collision and Analysis Unit.  Medical assistance was provided by Grafton Fire and EMS, Canaan Fire and EMS and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

If anyone has any information or witnessed the incident please reach out to NH State Police Sergeant Michael Cote 603-223-8872.

38th Annual Prouty Announces Honorary Co-Chairs

LEBANON, NH,  The Prouty – named in memory of patient Audrey Prouty – is the biggest charity challenge north of Boston. This long-standing event takes place in Hanover, New Hampshire, and raises money for groundbreaking cancer research and important patient supportive services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC). Over its life of 37 years, the event has raised more than $36 million for this NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the few serving a rural population. Serving, this year, as honorary co-chairs are Greg Tsongalis, PhD, and Carin Reynolds, JD

Gregory J. Tsongalis, PhD, HCLD is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Director of the Laboratory for Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technology (CGAT) at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Tsongalis’ research has focused on a biomarker discovery that can be translated into new diagnostic tests using novel technologies. This research is made possible by funds from The Prouty and has led to investigations such as miRNA analysis for cancer detection, analysis of cell free DNA in patients’ blood for gene markers of cancer, and development of nanofluidic devices for capturing cancer makers in blood samples.
“The Prouty is a premier event in the Upper Valley that builds upon our sense of community to deliver a united response in the battle against cancer, a disease that impacts all of us in one way or another. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we come together.” – Gregory J. Tsongalis, PhD

Carin Reynolds co-founded Row The Prouty and is a long-time Upper Valley rower, coach, and organizer whose intellectual property law practice funds her true passions. Carin participated in her first Prouty in 2007, with her daughter Cate, as members of the inaugural Friends of Hanover Crew Prouty team. Carin started the Friends of Upper Valley Rowing Foundation-Lebanon Crew Prouty team in 2012; since then, the team has raised over $650,000.
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center and The Prouty took on new meaning for Carin late in 2011 when her daughter, Cate, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The family witnessed first-hand the dedication and compassion of the staff and benefited from Prouty fundraising dollars that go toward direct patient and family support services. Following a successful course of treatment, Cate has remained cancer-free since 2012. Cate was a 2012 Prouty Hero, and although she was unable to row in the inaugural event, she participated as a coxswain motivating her crew (often by singing) throughout the grueling 20-mile row. Says, Reynolds, “I couldn’t be more committed to The Prouty or this Cancer Center – they saved my daughter’s life.”

Steven D. Leach, MD, director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, will be doing the Prouty Ultimate for the second time. “The money raised by The Prouty provides nearly 50% of our discretionary cancer center budget,” says Leach. “It makes our research and patient supportive services possible. When we reviewed the statistics for Prouty pilot projects (small grants given to fund innovative research ideas) we discovered that for every dollar invested, over time we received an average of $23 in additional funding from outside sources. That’s an incredible return on the investment our community makes in itself through The Prouty, and a testament to the creativity and high impact of our science. It is all made possible by our participants and their commitment to putting an end to cancer.”
The Prouty draws more than 4,000 participants from as many as 38 states and five foreign countries to bike (20-, 35-, 50-, 65-, 77-, or 100-mile routes); walk (3k, 5k, and 10k residential and wooded routes; scull or sweep 5, 10, 15, or 20 miles on the gorgeous Connecticut River; or golf 18 holes at the beautiful Hanover Country Club. New this year, participants can do The Prouty Xtra Mile, completing two events on Saturday. People can also participate as a Prouty Virtual (doing your Prouty event anywhere or anytime doing anything you like as long as you raise money for The Prouty!).
The Prouty Ultimate – the premier two-day, 200 mile bike ride – begins in Hanover, NH, on Friday, July 12, and cycles through the glorious Vermont countryside on Day One, and then the Prouty Century route on Day 2 (or any of the other Prouty routes including the 65-mile Gravel Metric Century route for the experienced cyclist that encompasses some gravel, hard-pack, and road riding).
Prouty Day: When done with their Prouty events, people come back to the event site (the Richmond Middle School at 63 Lyme Road, Hanover), and enjoy the all-day Prouty party. Food, live music, a chill tent, the Discover NCCC tent, and lots of fun and camaraderie are to be found all day till 4pm. The Friday night before The Prouty, participants come to the event site to check in and take part in a delicious, complimentary pasta dinner from Lui Lui served with a side of live jazz, from 5-8pm.
Eighty-nine cents of every dollar raised by The Prouty goes directly to support patient supportive services and cancer research at NCCC, one of just 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation and the only NCI-designated center north of Boston and east of Buffalo. The center significantly impacts the health of a largely rural and often underserved population, providing outstanding services to people in need.
Over the past 37 years, more than $36 million has been raised through The Prouty to support cancer research and patient supportive services.
For more information and to register, go to: http://www.TheProuty.org

NH State Police Warn of Phone Scam

Concord NH – On April 27, 2019, the New Hampshire State Police was made aware of a suspicious phone call where a male subject impersonated a NH State Trooper. The phone call was received on April 26 by a resident of Amesbury, Massachusetts and utilized a practice called “spoofing” whereby the caller alters their caller ID to display a false number. In this instance, the call displayed 603-358-3333, which is a legitimate New Hampshire State Police phone number associated with the Troop C barracks in Keene.

During the phone exchange, the caller identified himself as “Trooper Connors.” (No such trooper exists) He then explained that he had one of the victim’s relatives under arrest, and solicited the victim for bail money. The victim became suspicious due to the fact that the relative in question was deceased. The victim then reported the call to the Amesbury Police and the New Hampshire State Police.

The New Hampshire State Police wishes to inform the public that calls such as this are not legitimate, and are conducted as scams intended to defraud the caller of financial assets. While New Hampshire State Troopers sometimes contact the public by telephone in the course of their normal duties, such troopers will properly identify themselves and their assigned Troop/Unit and will never solicit money for any purpose. Anyone looking to verify the authenticity of a trooper who has contacted them can do so by calling New Hampshire State Police Communications at (603) 223-4381.

The investigation into this specific incident remains ongoing. Anyone with information on this case is asked to please contact Sergeant William Dilegge via Troop C dispatch at 603-223-8494

Methamphetamine Arrests in Lebanon

Lebanon NH – On April 22, 2019 at approximately 10:13 PM, Lebanon Police Officers stopped a suspicious motor vehicle at Hannaford Supermarket which was suspected to be involved with the sale of drugs. Vehicle passenger, Vernon Key, age 27, of Concord, NH, was found to have three bags of methamphetamine and a scale on his person. Key stated that he had been given some of the drugs to sell from the vehicle driver, Kirby Griffith, age 36, of Penacook, NH.
K9 Officer Alden deployed his partner K9 Nitro for an exterior search of the vehicle, and K9 Nitro indicated positive alerts. The vehicle was seized pending a search warrant. Methamphetamine, marijuana, suboxone, needles, and items to indicate sales were found during the search of the vehicle.
Key was charged with Possession of Controlled Drug, a Class B Felony. Griffith was also charged with Possession of Controlled Drug, a Class B Felony. Both parties were released on personal recognizance bail and are to appear in the Grafton County Superior Court on May 6, 2019.