Ten Vermonters were arrested on Friday for facilitating out of state drug dealers doing business in Winooski. Eight of the ten arrested lived in six different homes along Malletts Bay Avenue where authorities say heroin and crack cocaine was distributed between 2014 and 2016.

“This group is made up Vermonters who facilitate the drug trade,” said Eric Miller, U.S. District Attorney.

Miller says drug trafficking in Vermont relies on three groups of people. One being the out of state drug dealers and the drug addicts they prey upon. In between are the facilitators.

Miller explained, “They facilitate it by providing housing for out of state drug dealers, providing transportation for those drug dealers and they introduce those dealers to their customers.”

Miller says all of the arrests made today fall in that category. He says they played a crucial part in a drug trafficking organization run by Michael Villanueva who was arrested in June.

“Targeting these Vermont facilitators is absolutely crucial to law enforcement’s response to the drug crisis here,” said Miller.

In addition to the arrests made in Winooski, two other facilitators were arrested in Burlington on similar charges. The DEA says Vermont is favorable for dealers in New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

“To bring heroin from those locations to Vermont, they can double sometimes triple their profit so that is why it is such a money making business for them,” said Michael Ferguson, DEA.

This bust means tens of thousands of dollars worth of heroin and cocaine is of the streets. The arrests come after an extensive investigation by multiple agencies including the Vermont State Police, Winooski PD and the DEA.

Ferguson said, “For those out of state traffickers and facilitators who were not arrested today, we have a message for you… That message is think twice about trying to fill the void left by those out of state traffickers and facilitators that were arrested today because our work is not complete.”

Villanueva has plead guilty and face between 10 years and life and prison. His eight associates arrested Friday face up to 20 years in prison.