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One arrested on drug charges as police sought robbers

GREENFIELD — A local man was charged with drug distribution and assaulting police after officers stopped the car in which he rode.

Greenfield police were investigating the robbery of the Circle K gas station, when they noticed an SUV containing passengers that matched the description of the robbers, according to a report by officer Cody Guilbault.

The car was stopped on Colrain Road at about midnight Wednesday. Though the SUV’s occupants were found not to be involved in the 11:30 p.m. Tuesday robbery, its driver was arrested on drug charges.

Damien D. Johnson, 25, of 391 Federal St., pleaded innocent to charges of possession of crack-cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, possession of diazepam without a prescription, two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, driving with a revoked license, and not wearing a seatbelt, in Greenfield District Court Wednesday.

Johnson ran from officers after they saw him try to hide drugs in his underwear and attempted to search him, according to officer Emily Rowell’s report.

Guilbault wrote that Johnson pushed both he and Rowell out of the way, then ran from police as they asked him to stop. Guilbault drew his taser and fired at Johnson, but missed, according to his report.

Johnson crossed Colrain Road and headed toward Interstate 91, wrote Guilbault. He began to climb the fence, and Guilbault grabbed the suspect by his jacket. However, the jacket came off in Guilbault’s hands, and Johnson hopped the fence to the highway, according to the report.

Police were already on the shoulder of the interstate as part of the robbery investigation, and found Johnson lying in the snow about 40 feet from where he jumped the fence, wrote Guilbault.

Officers searched Johnson’s jacket, and found two “dime-sized” bags of crack, in addition to the “half-dollar-sized” bag he had tried to hide in his shorts, according to Rowell’s report. He also had a rolled-up dollar bill with cocaine residue on it, Rowell wrote.

According to court documents, Johnson has four prior convictions for possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.

He is due to return to court for a pretrial conference Feb. 3.

25 years old with 4 priors, time to turn your life around

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