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Highway stops bring trafficking charges

Heroin, cocaine found in both incidents

WHATELY — State police have arrested two New York men on drug trafficking charges in the past week, in two different Interstate 91 traffic stops.

Heroin and cocaine were discovered in both stops.

Joseph Smith, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was arrested Monday, and charged with trafficking in heroin, possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Sarah Munger, 28, of Vermont, driving the vehicle Smith was in, will be summoned on charges of trafficking in heroin, possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

State police trooper Charles Murphy pulled the vehicle over after he saw it cross the white line on Interstate 91 twice at about 7:35 p.m. Monday night, according to his police report.

The driver was visibly shaking, her face was pale white, and her pulse could be seen through her shirt, wrote Murphy. After the driver said she did not have a valid license in possession, a passenger and the owner of the vehicle, Stephanie Schump, spoke up.

Murphy wrote that Schump consented to a search of the vehicle. When he began to look through the car, he found a black plastic bag, containing a box with several empty wax bags typically used to package heroin.

He asked the driver if there were any drugs in the car, and she admitted to having a package hidden in a body cavity, according to the report.

Murphy said the plastic-wrapped package the driver retrieved contained a bag with 25 grams of heroin, and another bag containing 48 individual bags of crack cocaine.

Anthony Johnson, 27, and Schump, 29, both of Vermont, were passengers in the vehicle, and will be summoned on charges of conspiracy to violate drug laws and being present in a place where heroin is kept.

Smith pleaded innocent to his charges Tuesday, and was held on $10,000 cash bail. He is due back in court July 2.

Another Brooklyn man was arrested on similar charges Saturday night.

Trevare White, 37, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has been charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and motor vehicle violations.

Murphy was patrolling the northbound lane of Interstate 91 at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday, when he saw an SUV tailgating other vehicles and traveling in the passing lane.

He pulled the vehicle over, and spoke with the vehicle’s occupants, who appeared nervous, and wouldn’t initially tell him where they were going to or coming from, though they eventually said they were driving from New Haven, Conn., back to Vermont, according to his report.

While examining the vehicle, police found an air pistol under the passenger’s seat, and an illegal double-edged knife in a door storage pocket, Murphy wrote. The illicit knife in plain view gave police probable cause to search the rest of the vehicle.

When they did, they discovered a black nylon bag with a cache of drugs buried beneath socks and underwear.

Inside the bag, wrote Murphy, was a tied-off plastic bag containing 28 grams of cocaine, and another bag containing 100 bags of heroin, in 10 bundles each containing 10 bags. Eight bundles were stamped with the brand A.O.R., the other two branded “fire,” according to the report.

A passenger, who was not charged, told Murphy that he was offered $100 and a full tank of gas to drive to New Haven and back to Vermont.

Jonathan Phillips, 19, was also arrested in the stop, on an extraditable warrant for being a fugitive from justice from Vermont.

White pleaded innocent to his charges, and was held on $7,500 cash bail, and is scheduled to appear in Greenfield District Court July 11.

David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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