Highway stop leads to hundreds of bags of heroin

GREENFIELD — State police took in more than 600 bags of heroin and arrested two Connecticut men in a Tuesday night traffic stop.

James Burnes Jr., 33, of Bridgeport, Conn., and Vincent C. Paris, 37, of Hampden, Conn., have both been arrested on charges of trafficking in heroin over 100 grams, possession of heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and being present where heroin is kept.

Trooper Nicholas Pellegrino said police have reason to believe the men were involved in regular trips to buy and sell heroin. They were stopped Tuesday for excessive speed.

Trooper Jonathan O’Loughlin pulled over the rental car on Interstate 91 northbound at 6:03 p.m. Driver Burnes and his passenger told conflicting stories and were extremely nervous, and O’Loughlin soon discovered that neither of them were the registered renter of the car, according to Pellegrino.

O’Loughlin called in Trooper Matthew Trombley for backup, and ordered the men out of the car.

“The trooper felt that something was wrong, and he was right,” said Pellegrino.

When heroin was found on the driver, the men were taken into custody, and the car towed to the Shelburne barracks for a K9 to go over, said Pellegrino.

At the barracks, two stores of heroin were found in the car, Pellegrino said, amounting to 653 individual bags. They were found in two fake canisters, one labeled as rug deodorizer, the other as tire sealant.

“They were hidden very well,” said Pellegrino.

Police also seized $1,889 in cash, “individually wrapped and consistent with drug dealing,” said Pellegrino.

Pellegrino commended O’Loughlin and Trombley on the arrest.

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