Published DateTILTON — An off-duty Belknap County Sheriff's deputy and an on-duty police officer arrested a Northfield man wanted for allegedly throwing a knife over the barbed-wire fence into the N.H. State Prison in Berlin.
Affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Vincent Bitetto, Jr., 26, of 16 Summer St. was spotted by Deputy James McIntire and Patrol Officer Steve Henry entering the lobby from the elevator at the Hampton Inn and Suites at 9:40 p.m. Monday night.
McIntire, who was in civilian clothes yelled at Bitetto to stop however he ran into the rear parking lot where he was subdued by Henry and McIntire.
Judge Jim Carroll ordered Bitetto held on $500 cash for resisting arrest and $15,000 cash for his actions as they relate to the prison. As of 5 p.m. yesterday, he had been transferred to the N.H. State Prison in Concord from the Belknap County House of Corrections.
Bitetto was wanted out of the 1st Circuit Court, Berlin Division for attempted delivery of contraband articles to prisoners. A warrant for his arrest was granted to N.H. State Police on February 22 and area police, including McIntire were aware of it.
According to affidavits submitted to the 1st Circuit Court and included in yesterday's proceedings, corrections officers learned some contraband was to be delivered over the fence into the yard on November 28, 2012 by a former inmate who had been released several weeks before.
A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said Bitetto was released from Berlin on November 8, 2012 and was to remain on parole until yesterday. He had been incarcerated for possession of controlled drug.
Prison investigators began searching the recreation yard with cameras and noticed an inmate identified and Montgomery Proulx yelling from inside the secured yard to someone behind a warehouse that was about 30 to 40 yards away and across the perimeter road.
According to Associated Press account at the time, Proulx pleaded guilty in July of 2009 to selling 18-year-old Evan Schwager a Fentanyl patch that resulted in his death in May 2008. The drug is often prescribed for cancer patients. The New Hampshire Union Leader reported authorities said Proulx sold the patches to several people at an underage drinking party in Bedford. Schwager, a West High School senior, was found dead the next morning at his home.
Two chain linked fences covered with razor wire surround the prison. The exterior fence in 17 feet high and the interior fence is 15 feet high. Affidavits said minimum security prisoners are allowed to work at the warehouse in the area between the two fences but those prisoners were all returned and accounted for by 2 p.m.
Investigators saw Proulx allegedly pick up two packages and walk along the fence, dropping one of the packages by the handball court. A second inmate identified as Rocco Sfara allegedly kicked one of the packages. Sfara was sentenced on unknown charged out of Rockingham County and the N.H. prison finder Website shows he is eligible for parole on August 31, 2013.
Both men were isolated and held separately while the remaining inmates in the north wing were strip searched. Nothing was found on any of the inmates.
A search of the yard turned up four packages and guards learned they were intended for Stefan Gauthier, 25, formerly of Bristol. Gauthier is eligible for parole, according to the Department of Corrections, in June of 2014. He has multiple convictions out of multiple counties for theft, forgery, being a habitual offender, disobeying police, and drug possession.
One of the packages contained tobacco, one containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, and a third containing a "five dollar" knife used for hunting that's about three or four inches long.
Investigators traced a number of phone calls from the prison to Bitetto and two women associated with him who live in Tilton and Northfield respectively.
Affidavits said one of the women allegedly told police she drove Bitetto to Berlin and that he had "multiple" small packages wrapped in black tape with him. On the drive, she told Northfield Police that Bitetto told her he was going to throw them over the fences into the court yard.
She said she dropped him off just south of the Berlin prison and picked him up later. She also said Bitetto told her he thought the prison staff was looking for him.
She confirmed the packages were for Gauthier.