Another ‘Heroin Highway’ Suspect Released

Federal, state and local law enforcement executed a search warrant on this property at 191 Hutchins Farm Rd. in Stannard on Sept. 10, 2021. (Contributed Photo)

The federal detention hearing for alleged Stannard drug dealer Gage Colson was pretty much over as soon as the prosecutor began talking.

Colson, 21, and his co-defendant brother, Eric Colson, 23, are accused of selling large amounts of illegal drugs from their home at 191 Hutchins Farm Rd. in Stannard. The government sought to have both brothers remain in federal detention but Eric Colson - who is accused of running a “sophisticated distribution operation” at the residence - was released by the court last week into a drug rehabilitation program and then into the community pending trial.

U.S. District Court

At Gage Colson’s detention hearing on Tuesday, the government began its argument by acknowledging the obvious.

“The government is mindful of the fact that the court denied the government’s motion for detention in relation to co-defendant Eric Colson based on the same facts,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathanael T. Burris. “The government acknowledges here defendant Gage Colson’s lack of criminal convictions and also notes that unlike Eric Colson, the government does not believe that Gage Colson played a management or leadership role in the offense.”

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle then released Gage Colson for inpatient residential drug treatment as soon as a bed becomes available at Valley Vista Drug Treatment Center in Bradford - the same facility where Eric Colson is currently being treated. Like his brother, Gage Colson will be released back into the community as soon as he completes his treatment program.

The suspected drug traffic at the Colson’s residence was so heavy that neighbors referred to Hutchins Farm Road as the “Heroin Highway.” Police, including the Vermont Drug Task Force and the FBI, executed a search warrant at the home on Sept. 10 and said they seized drugs, cash and numerous firearms. Both brothers were then taken into federal custody on drug conspiracy charges. But police say drug deals have continued at the property even after the Colson brothers were arrested.

Gage Colson remains in pre-trial detention at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury while he waits for a bed to become available at Valley Vista which is expected to occur on Oct. 1.

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