Brandon men jailed on federal gun, drug charges
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | January 04,2013
Two Brandon men were jailed by a federal magistrate Thursday after denying charges they were dealing heroin for money and guns.
Daniel S. Sheldrick and Dakota A. Norris appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington where both pleaded innocent to one charge each of distributing heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a drug user in possession of a firearm.
Magistrate Judge John Conroy ordered the pair jailed until trial.
Sheldrick and Norris were arrested Dec. 27 after police from Bristol and Brandon executed a search warrant at 4 Van Ness Drive in Brandon where a number of handguns, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and $1,670 in cash were found, according to federal court records.
Special Agent David Campbell of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in an affidavit that the case against Sheldrick and Norris developed rapidly after Bristol police arrested a man with a stolen handgun the day before the Van Ness Drive raid.
The man arrested with the handgun was described in Campbell’s affidavit as a “CI” — a confidential informant who agreed to cooperate with police.
Campbell wrote that the informant had recently exchanged a handgun for five bags of heroin in a deal that both Sheldrick and Norris attended. The informant’s statements led police to obtain a search warrant that was executed a day later — and just hours after an incident involving a drug overdose at the Van Ness Drive address.
Brandon Police Lt. Rodney Pulsifer said Thursday that Sheldrick’s wife was taken by ambulance from the home to Rutland Regional Medical Center where she was treated and later released.
Police said when they raided the home, they found four handguns, including a Ruger .22-caliber revolver, a Hi-Point .45-caliber handgun, a Ruger .45-caliber handgun and a Taurus .380-caliber handgun.
During subsequent interviews with police, both Sheldrick and Norris admitted to trading the .22-caliber Ruger in exchange for five bags of heroin, Campbell wrote, and Sheldrick admitted to trading drugs to acquire the two .45-caliber handguns as well.
In the weeks leading up to his arrest, Sheldrick allegedly used handguns in a threatening manner, Brandon Police Chief Christopher Brickell wrote in an affidavit.
Hancock resident Jessie-Mae DeCosta told police that on Dec. 6, Sheldrick drove her to Ripton where he fired a magazine’s worth of rounds out the car window.
“She said she was scared when he did this because it was into the area where the Robert Frost hiking trail is,” Brickell wrote. “She said she was afraid to say anything to him because she said he was acting really weird and thought he might shoot her.”
DeCosta also told police that a few days after the trip to Ripton, Sheldrick appeared at her mother’s house in Bristol where he waved a handgun around demanding to know where DeCosta was.
The chief also said that Sheldrick’s behavior to law enforcement was troubling in the days leading up to his arrest.
“Sheldrick’s behavior when engaging with police has become increasingly strange to the point he had followed one of our officer’s cruisers, prompting the officer to make a motor vehicle stop,” the chief wrote.
Reached by phone Thursday, Pulsifer said that the officer Sheldrick was following had previously ticketed him for a motor vehicle violation.
No criminal charge or traffic violation resulted from the motor vehicle stop and no weapons were detected in the car, Pulsifer said.