FEDS CHARGE REPEAT SEX OFFENDER WITH POSSESSION OF CHILD PORN

Carrying a bible, Shane Allen Edgerly, 42, of Fairfield is lead into the courtroom by Public Defender Paul Gross in October of 2017. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier file

By Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

MILTON: It’s been almost a year to the day after Shane Edgerly, 42 years old, was lead into a St. Albans courtroom to face charges that he sexually assaulted a family member. Now, Federal agents have charged him with possession of child pornography on his cell phone.

Agent Michael McCullagh from the Department of Homeland Security was tasked with following up on a tip from a website Edgerly was using to host the child porn.

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REMEMBERING ADA

By Ruthie Laroche
For the County Courier

This spring and summer a transformation has taken place on a portion of the BFA Fairfax cross-country trail. Students and community members have set their sights on creating a beautiful space to remember a wonderful person they lost too soon.

Ada’s Garden, named after Ada Sorensen who lost her life in an accident last year, has begun to take shape thanks to the loving and generous help of the Fairfax community.

Kathleen Shedd has been instrumental in helping to keep Ada’s memory alive in the town that she called home during her young life.

When the memorial garden concept began to take shape, Shedd and others reached out to BFA Fairfax principal John Tague for his help.

“The school has made it possible to build a memory garden in Ada’s name. They have given us a big area to use, and we’ve been working to fill it. We found a spot off to the side of the cross country trail in the woods. There’s a stream, a little bridge; when we found it we knew that was the spot,” said Shedd.

The garden currently measures about 100 feet square and has been steadily receiving plants to fill the space thanks to many generous donations from community members.

“The town has also helped us so much; we’ve had over one hundred plants donated, as well as fifty bags of compost, and labor to see to the removal of trees. This process has really brought out the best in people,” said Shedd.

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OLDEST CHURCH IN ENOSBURGH MAY BE RAZED

By Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

ENOSBURGH: The Enosburgh Center Church has been a landmark in the community for more than two centuries. That may change if three church members have their way.

According to an email obtained by the County Courier through a records request, three of the four last surviving members of the church have voted to demolish the church and liquidate the assets.

Because the church is a not for profit organization, the funds from the sale and any funds the church has accumulated to date would have to be donated to another, not for profit organization. That’s according to the church’s own meeting minutes after a proposal was offered during a meeting in 2001.

In that same legal opinion offered to the church, the attorney suggests that the remaining assets legally become assets of the Town of Enosburgh once the church stops holding at least one service a year there.

The last service on record was held in 2001.

Read the full story in this week’s County Courier, available on newsstands now.

SENATE HOPEFUL CALLED OUT FOR “SEXUAL ASSAULT JOKE”

A photo of Dustin Tanner’s campaign website.

By Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

Editor’s Note: This story contains content that is not suitable for all readers.

Dustin Tanner announced his bid for the Vermont Senate in June, three years after posting a video on his YouTube channel that joked about sexual assault, buying marijuana from high school students, and being a CCV dropout.

Tanner, a Progressive/Democrat running to fill one of two Senate seats took a stand-up comedy class in 2015, ultimately leading to the 2015 set, according to an interview with Seven Days newspaper, who broke the story last Thursday.

The joke that gained the most attention Thursday was likely the one about not committing sexual assault on his dentist.

“My dentist, I swear to God has the biggest tits ever,” Tanner said as he acts out a person leaning over a dental chair, “She’s like this, right over me. At this point, I can’t feel my face.”

Tanner continues acting his part of sitting in the dental chair with a numbed mouth, mimicking the sounds of a dental patient trying to talk with someone’s hands in their mouth, “I’m sitting there with my tongue hanging out of my mouth, literally an inch from her breasts.”

The joke continues as Tanner describes the female dentist as she tries to pull his tooth, “She’s going at it like she’s trying to win a prize at the State Fair,” he said.

The room of 21 years and over comedy goers gives an uncomfortable laugh, and that’s when he delivers the punch line, “I went to the dentist that day, but I was lucky I didn’t commit sexual assault.”The video was made public by Shayne Spence, an employee who works part-time for the Don Turner for Lieutenant Governor’s campaign. Turner is running against David Zuckerman, who employed Tanner in a similar position as Spence during his last campaign.

Spence said he thought the video, which has since been deleted by Tanner, shows his true colors, and, in a time when the country is divided from the Kavanaugh hearings in Washington, voters should have the ability to know as much about a candidate as they can.

The timing of the sexual assault joke video corresponded with Tanner’s announcement that he was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, an endorsement that Spence pointed out was hypocritical when a candidate makes jokes of such a serious nature. Tanner’s Twitter post about the endorsement was later deleted. Often times campaign donations come with such endorsements, but Tanner failed to file an October 1st campaign finance report so that it could not be verified one way or another.

According to Tanner, an unknown person emailed him in May to complain about the video, soon after he announced his intentions to run for the Senate.

“I was hoping that if somebody had a concern, they could have reached out to me privately,” Tanner told the County Courier in a telephone interview, “I want to make this a learning experience and move the conversation forward.”

Read the full story in this week’s County Courier.

RICHFORD WOMAN ADMITS TO FIVE BANK ROBBERIES

The image, taken by security cameras at a Virginia bank is allegedly to be Amber Fusco. Courtesy of the FBI

By Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

Newly filed court documents show a guilty plea that Amber Fusco, 30, of Richford entered on charges connected to five bank robberies in December of 2017 and January of 2018.

Fusco had been wanted by Federal Authorities in February for the bank robberies, she was eventually taken into custody a week later on February 23rd, according to records.

On Thursday, September 20th, Fusco took responsibility for the bank robberies during a hearing in open court, reducing her 15-year sentence by one year.  Fusco could have been sentenced to a maximum of life in jail.

The plea agreement meant Fusco would admit to the robberies, but would only be convicted on two of the five bank robbery charges. She would also be convicted on a charge brandishing a firearm in the furtherance of a violent crime.

In addition to the time Fusco would have to serve in prison, Fusco has also been ordered to parole of five years after her release.

SEE RELATED: LOCAL WOMAN WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH VIRGINIA BANK ROBBERIES

Federal Court in Virginia took the role of prosecuting Fusco. She is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia pending her transfer to a Federal Prison.

Fusco admitted to robbing two Virginia banks before returning to Vermont for three more bank robberies.

Amber Fusco, 30 in an August 2017 mug shot provided by the South Burlington Police Department after police discovered Fusco slumped over the steering wheel of her vehicle in the Hannaford parking lot. She allegedly had her infant child in the vehicle with her at the time.

Fusco was also ordered to pay $6,901.00 in restitution, at a rate of $100 per month, or 25% of her gross wages, whichever is greater.

Court records indicate that Fusco entered a BB&T Bank in Henrico, Virginia on December 20th, handed the teller a note, indicating she had a firearm, then brandished that firearm to make the bank teller comply with her demands.

Three days later, police say Fusco went to a Wells Fargo Bank, handed a teller a note, but did not brandish a firearm at that time.

That note read, “I need large bills. I have a gun and will use it. You have 30 seconds.”

Fusco fled in a vehicle driven by Jennifer Bessette, according to police, unknowingly carrying a GPS tracker with the cash inside the vehicle.

Fusco at an alleged bank robbery in Virginia.

Law Enforcement tracked that vehicle down, but Fusco had already fled in another direction.

The Bonnie and Clyde wannabes then came back to Vermont where Fusco robbed a North Country Federal Credit Union, TD Bank, and a National Bank of Middlebury.

According to court records, Fusco made a stop in New York on her way back to Vermont, where she allegedly stole a $35,000 Rolex watch from a jewelry store.

Fusco’s extensive criminal history was a factor in the sentence. Her criminal record is as follows:
• Driving on a suspended license (July 2011)
• Disorderly Conduct (July 2011)
• Driving on a suspended license (February 2012)
• Disorderly Conduct (August 2012)
• Retail Theft, 2 counts (October 2012)
• Disorderly Conduct (May 2015)
• Theft of Services (June 2015)
• Driving under the influence (November 2016)
• Assault (June 2017)
• Cruelty to a child less than 10 (August 2017)
• Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer (December 2017)

“These convictions show a pattern of continuous assaultive behavior, a complete disregard for the well being of others (including her minor child, and a pattern of defying orders of the court,” said Andela Mastandrea-Miller, the assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case, adding that the sentence was needed to “protect the public from the Defendant’s future criminal conduct.”

Fusco’s accomplice, Jennifer Bessette took a plea deal for 92 months to serve with three years of supervised release thereafter. Bessette was also ordered to repay money to the banks, her share of restitution is $1,251.00.

Police identified a third co-conspirator in the Virginia robberies as Andrew Welton Jr. A warrant for his arrest was issued on July 10th and he has yet to be found, according to court records.