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Troopers Arrest Three Interstate Drug Traffickers With Illegal Firearm On Route 91


Shortly after midday on Monday, May 20, 2024, Trooper Hunter Ratelle was on Route 91 in Deerfield observing northbound traffic. While positioned at the roadside, Trooper Ratelle observed a grey sedan pass his position with a rear registration tag that was unreadable. Trooper Ratelle caught up to the sedan and conducted a traffic stop.


Trooper Ratelle approached the operator of the sedan, NICOL MURANO, 48, of Brattleboro Vt. and requested her license, however MURANO did not have an active license to operate a vehicle. With no valid license, Trooper Ratelle requested MURANO step out of the vehicle and placed her in handcuffs and secured her in the rear of his cruiser. Trooper Ratelle asked if either of the two passengers of the vehicle had a valid license, which they did not.


Now backed up by Troopers Curtis Bamberg and Stephen Shearer, Trooper Ratelle called for a tow of the sedan and turned to inventorying the contents of the vehicle. He had the two passengers step out of the vehicle and join Troopers Shearer and Bamberg away from the roadway. During the inventory, Trooper Ratelle discovered 224 grams of crack cocaine and a disassembled 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun with a 16-round magazine behind the driver’s seat. None of the occupants of the sedan were licensed to carry a firearm. 


Troopers placed MURANO, as well as the two passengers: KATIE BEAM, 36, of Brattleboro Vt. and NAJEE ROBERTSON, 35, of Bridgeport Conn. under arrest.

NICOL MURANO, KATIE BEAM, AND NAJEE ROBERTSON were transported to the Shelburne Falls barracks where they were booked, fingerprinted, and photographed. MURANO, BEAM, and ROBERTSON were arraigned in Greenfield District Court on charges of:


  1. Trafficking In Cocaine;

  2. Conspiracy To Violate Drug Law;

  3. Possession Of A Firearm Without FID;

  4. Possession Of A Firearm During A Felony Offense; and

  5. Possession Of A Large Capacity Feeding Device.


NICOL MURANO faces additional charges of:

  1. Unlicensed Operation Of A Motor Vehicle; and

  2. Number Plate Violation.

NAJEE ROBERTSON faces an additional charge of:

  1. Firearm Violation With One Prior Violent/Drug Crime.


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