BENNINGTON -- A man arrested in 2013's Operation County Strike is being charged with trying to flush Suboxone strips down a toilet after his probation officer discovered them in his shoe.

Casey Gras, 27, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a felony count of obstructing justice, and misdemeanor counts of narcotic possession, and disorderly conduct. He is being held on an alleged probation violation.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Cpl. Andy Hunt, on May 29 at 7:30 p.m. he went to the Bennington Probation and Parole Office where he met with Community Corrections Officers Beau Alexander and Abby Dickie. Alexander said he took Gras, who is on probation, into custody because he suspected him of using drugs. When asked to provide a urine sample, Gras took his belt and shoes off without being asked. There was a pink piece of paper in Gras' shoe, which he grabbed and tried to throw into a toilet when Alexander asked about it.

Gras was told to step against a wall, but refused and clenched his fists. Gras said his "bupe" was in the folded paper. "Bupe" is slang for Buprenorphine, which is found in Suboxone, a drug prescribed to treat opiate addiction. Gras was threatened with pepper spray multiple times and eventually complied with Alexander's orders.

He became belligerent again when told he was being arrested, but calmed down when Alexander took out his pepper spray.

Two Suboxone strips were found in the folded paper.


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Gras does not have a prescription for them.

Police said Gras has an extensive criminal history in Vermont. He has seven felony convictions including embezzlement, narcotic sale, unlawful mischief, burglary, and cocaine sale. The narcotic sale stems from his arrest in Operation County Strike, a county-wide drug sweep where 48 people were apprehended and charged.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.