– 17-year-old boy (victim) – Gage Garr (alleged trafficker) – J.V. (17-year-old victim) – Rockylane Lewis (alleged trafficker) – Aisha Davy (alleged trafficker) – Holly Howard (defendant) : Teenagers Used as Drug Traffickers in Vermont: A Disturbing Trend or Isolated Cases?

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : A recent drug bust in Barre City, Vermont, has shed light on the issue of human trafficking and the involvement of juveniles in drug trafficking. In September, Barre City police pulled over a gray Ford SUV and discovered a 17-year-old boy in the back seat carrying 50 grams of crack, $5,000, and a pistol with its serial number scratched off. Instead of filing charges against the teenager, police treated him as a victim, believing that he had been trafficked into Vermont from Springfield, Massachusetts, to sell drugs.

This case is not an isolated incident. Earlier this year, a similar drug bust in Rutland, Vermont, also involved adults using teenagers to sell illegal substances for profit. State’s attorneys claim that these cases do not constitute a trend, but the issue of coercion proves challenging to parse and prosecute, especially when the teenagers come from out of state or may be working alongside older family members.

The case in Barre City involved 33-year-old Gage Garr, who was charged with cocaine possession and human trafficking. According to court documents, Garr was a “key component” in the drug trafficking organization using the 17-year-old to sell drugs. The teenager, identified as “J.V.,” told police that he had been trafficked from Springfield to Barre and had little knowledge of his whereabouts or contact with his family. He was told to sell drugs from North Barre Manor, a large housing development.

In the Rutland case, federal court documents detailed how two adults, Rockylane Lewis and Aisha Davy, allegedly coerced three children into selling fentanyl and crack. Davy, the mother of two of the children involved, transported Lewis and members of his organization between Springfield, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The children were found to be selling drugs under Lewis’s instruction.

State’s attorneys acknowledge the challenges in understanding how juveniles may have been coerced into criminal actions. Sometimes, interviews or phone records provide explicit evidence of coercion, but not always. The age of the defendants is considered when determining an appropriate approach to justice.

The involvement of juveniles in drug trafficking raises concerns about human trafficking and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals. Law enforcement agencies and state’s attorneys are working to investigate and prosecute these cases, but the complexities involved make it a challenging task. Efforts are being made to hold the adults responsible and provide support and protection for the victims of trafficking.

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