• Baby is witness to cocaine dealing, use
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | April 15,2014
     

    BARRE — A Waterbury Center man has admitted selling and using drugs in front of his 7-month-old child.

    Robert J. Farnsworth, 31, pleaded guilty Friday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to three counts of felony sale of cocaine, one count of child cruelty, one count of possession of cocaine, and violating his conditions of release. At a sentencing hearing June 12, the state is expected to seek a prison term of 3˝ to 10 years. Farnsworth’s attorney Maggie Vincent intends to argue for a lesser sentence.

    The charges, brought by the Vermont attorney general’s office, stem from a drug task force investigation into the sale of cocaine in Washington County in 2012.

    According to a police affidavit, the task force had an informant wearing an audio recorder, or “wire,” go into Farnsworth’s home and buy 3.5 grams of cocaine three times from the end of June to the beginning of July 2012. Twice when the informant bought the drugs, police say, an infant was about 10 feet from Farnsworth as he smoked cocaine.

    Farnsworth was first identified as a cocaine seller by the informant, who cooperated in exchange for consideration on his own criminal charges, police said.

    Based on the information gathered by the informant, police were granted a search warrant for Farnsworth’s home. In July 2012, police say, they confiscated 75.8 grams of cocaine and arrested Farnsworth and his live-in girlfriend at the time, Reava Burnor, 25, the mother of the infant.

    In June, Burnor was put on probation for four years on a felony conviction of selling cocaine after a guilty plea in April 2013. If she violates probation she will face up to five years in prison. Under the plea agreement, the state dropped charges of child endangerment and cocaine possession.

    Police say that after his arrest, Farnsworth admitted he had been selling cocaine since 2008, sometimes as much as 9 ounces a week. When asked how many times he sold cocaine, Farnsworth told police, “Millions, bro,” according to the affidavit.

    Farnsworth said he would drive to Connecticut to get the cocaine and would also pick it up in Montpelier.

    Police say the informant told them he saw her handing the drugs to Farnsworth to weigh out for sale. Both Farnsworth and Burnor admitted Farnsworth had smoked cocaine in front of their child many times, police say.

    Burnor said she had gone with Farnsworth twice to Connecticut on his drug runs and that she and their baby were with him when he picked up 26 grams of cocaine in Montpelier in July 2012.

    Burnor also admitted occasionally snorting cocaine, police say.

    Farnsworth’s conviction for violating conditions of his release arose because police say he was not at home in December 2012 when he was under a 24-hour curfew.

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