St. Johnsbury Drug Suspect Charged With Lyndonville Home Improvement Fraud

A Vermont State Trooper leads a man in handcuffs to his cruiser on Portland Street in St. Johnsbury on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The man was taken into custody during a drug bust at 619 Portland St. (Photo by Dana Gray)

One of the Portland Street drug house suspects has also been charged with home improvement fraud.

Tyge Searl, 36, of St. Johnsbury, was one of four suspects charged Monday in connection with a Feb. 25 raid at Searl’s residence located at 619 Portland St., Apt. #2 in St. Johnsbury. Searl pleaded not guilty to felony fentanyl trafficking, cocaine trafficking, possession of narcotics and a misdemeanor charge of dispensing regulated drugs in a dwelling and was released on conditions and a $1,000 unsecured appearance bond.

Caledonia County Superior Court

Searl also pleaded not guilty Monday to felony home improvement fraud for allegedly taking a $1,200 down payment for a roofing job in the Pinehurst Neighborhood in Lyndonville and failing to perform the work.

Police said the alleged victim in the case is Pamela Schabler who told investigators that Searl had answered an advertisement she had placed looking for someone to replace the roof on her mothers’ house at 55 Essex St.

But no work was performed after Schabler paid Searl the $1,200 down payment on June 22, 2020, said police. Schabler texted Searl throughout the summer attempting to get him to start the job or return the money but neither happened.

Schabler then contacted police.

“Schabler advised me that on 4 August 2020, she texted Searl twice, which in turn resulted in him calling her by phone,” wrote Lyndonville Police Chief Jack Harris in his affidavit filed in support of the charge. “In the conversation Searl advised that he had cut off all communications as he was not happy about her contacting police.”

If convicted of the charge Searl faces a possible sentence of up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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