BARRE — A Montpelier man is accused of trafficking the powerful opiate fentanyl.

Eldin Kamberovic, 30, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to felony counts of trafficking and selling fentanyl, and a misdemeanor count of violating conditions of release. If convicted, Kamberovic faces a maximum sentence of 50½ years in prison. He was ordered held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury on 10,000 bail.

According to its affidavit, the Vermont Drug Task Force started an investigation in April into the distribution of fentanyl in Washington County. The task force said the target of the investigation was Kamberovic.

The task force used a cooperating individual who reported Kamberovic was actively selling fentanyl and the individual had bought the drug from Kamberovic in the past, according to court records.

The task force said it set up a controlled buy in April using the individual. The individual told the task force he or she would text Kamberovic to set up the buy and the individual called Kamberovic in the presence of the task force to confirm the deal.

The task force said it gave the individual money to purchase the drug. The individual was then seen by the task force walking up to Kamberovic and making the exchange of money for drugs, according to court records.

The task force said it weighed the suspected fentanyl and with the packaging the substance weighed 0.7 grams.

Kamberovic was initially charged last month with a misdemeanor count of unlawful sale of a drug because a judge did not find probable cause for a felony charge for selling fentanyl. That changed after the suspected fentanyl was tested at the Vermont Forensic Laboratory. According to court records, the substance tested positive for fentanyl and weighed 236.7 milligrams.

For the violation of conditions of release, police said Kamberovic had a curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. after he was charged with the misdemeanor. Police said they went to an East Montpelier home for an unrelated matter Aug. 5 and found Kamberovic at the home violating his curfew.

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