Highway stop leads to drug distribution charge

GREENFIELD — A dirty license plate led to the arrest of a Springfield man on a charge of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Tyrone Jones, 26, of Springfield, pled not guilty to a single charge of possession with intent to distribute a Class B substance, subsequent offense, at his arraignment Monday in Greenfield District Court.

Trooper Micheal McNally of the Shelburne State Police barracks wrote in his report that he was getting fuel at the Planet Gas station Sunday evening when he noticed a Chevrolet Cavalier with an illegibly dirty rear license plate.

McNally stopped the car on Interstate 91 northbound at the Bernardston town line, and identified all three occupants after observing the driver and front passenger to be nervous and finding that none of the occupants knew the last name of the car’s owner.

According to police, it is common for drug dealers and users to travel to buy drugs in borrowed cars.

Location and direction also played a role.

“I am aware that Interstate 91 is a drug superhighway,” McNally wrote. “Purchasing drugs in the Holyoke and Springfield area can yield a large profit when they are resold in the northern states (Vermont and New Hampshire).”

A database search found the driver and rear seat passenger had criminal histories involving narcotics, as well as firearms in the rear passenger’s case, and the front seat passenger had given a false name, according to McNally, leading to a search of all three.

The front seat passenger’s pants were partly down, and his pants crinkled when McNally shook his waistband.

The passenger, who subsequently identified himself as Jones, retrieved three off-white colored rocks of what appeared to be crack cocaine from his pants after initially denying he had anything, McNally wrote.

The cocaine weighed out to 7 grams, and police charged Jones with intent to distribute because a search of the car found no crack pipes and because his build and the condition of his teeth, lips and clothes led McNally to believe he was not an addict.

McNally issued the driver a citation for the obstructed license plate and the rear seat passenger a civil citation for possession of a small amount of marijuana, and released both.

Judge William F. Mazanec III ordered Jones held at the Franklin County House of Corrections in lieu of $5,000 cash bail.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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