Two With Law Enforcement Ties Charged in Separate Incidents | Off Message

Two With Law Enforcement Ties Charged in Separate Incidents

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ALAIN LACROIX | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
Two men with law enforcement ties, including a current Burlington cop, face criminal charges in separate incidents.

Cpl. William Drinkwine of the Burlington Police Department was charged Friday with illegally entering a Swanton woman's home in July, Vermont State Police announced Tuesday morning. State police offered few details about the incident, saying more information would be available upon Drinkwine's November 2 arraignment in Franklin County.

The 33-year-old officer, who was off-duty at the time, allegedly left the home after the woman, a former romantic partner, told him to leave. She then called Swanton Village police, who referred the case to state police.



A state police spokesperson declined to answer a question about the length of the investigation. Drinkwine was cited on October 16.

Burlington Cpl. William Drinkwine - VERMONT STATE POLICE
  • Vermont State Police
  • Burlington Cpl. William Drinkwine
Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said in a press release Tuesday morning that Drinkwine has been suspended from duty since July 8, when the state police investigation began. The suspension was not disclosed publicly, but Murad said he informed the mayor's office, the city attorney, human resources staff, and members of the civilian police commission. Police commissioners requested the city also inform the Burlington City Council, Murad wrote.

City attorneys did so on September 30, "as the Vermont State Police investigation neared a conclusion," he wrote.

The acting chief said a departmental investigation would resume now that a criminal charge had been filed.

In a separate incident, St. Albans police on Sunday arrested a former departmental recruit as he was driving to confront a man he suspected was sleeping with his spouse.

Joshua Serna was hired as a provisional officer in May 2019. He resigned earlier this year before completing state police academy training, interim St. Albans Police Chief Maurice Lamothe said.

According to a criminal affidavit, Serna confided in an off-duty St. Albans cop about his suspicions and made comments about injuring or killing another man. Serna also called the man directly and said he wanted to come by his house to "talk."

The off-duty officer, Cpl. Cody Allison, alerted a supervisor and took two guns away from Serna's residence. Serna's wife tried to prevent him from leaving, but he is alleged to have driven around her vehicle.

Another St. Albans officer, Zachary Koch, stopped Serna a mile away from the other man's residence and performed a portable breath test. Serna was arrested for driving under the influence.

A judge released Serna on Monday on conditions, including that he not possess firearms. But the judge agreed to an exception to that condition so Serna can possess a gun during training activities for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, court records show.

Neither Franklin County State's Attorney Jim Hughes nor Serna's defense attorney responded to a question about his border patrol training. The federal agency has declined previous requests by Seven Days to confirm employment, citing employee privacy policies.
The cases come just days after part-time Berlin Police Department officer Jeffrey Strock drove his cruiser to an ex-girlfriend's apartment in Barre Town and fatally shot her. He then killed himself, authorities said. 

Two other former Vermont police officers were charged with domestic abuse earlier this year. Former Brattleboro and Essex cop Sean Wilson killed himself  in February while facing criminal threatening and domestic assault charges. Winooski cop Christopher Matott was charged with aggravated domestic assault in February and was subsequently fired from the department.

Another now-former St. Albans cop, Zachary Pigeon, was arrested in April and faces charges including sexual assault and kidnapping.