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Traffic stop in Bernardston ends in drug charges

BERNARDSTON — A Springfield man was charged this week with trafficking cocaine, after police pulled him over for speeding.

Ben K. Herrera, 25, was arraigned on charges of trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (subsequent offense), driving with a suspended license and speeding.

State Trooper Noah Pack was patrolling Interstate 91 northbound through Bernardston at about 7:45 Monday night, when he saw two vehicles driving at more than 85 miles per hour, according to his report.

Pack pulled over the two vehicles, and found the driver of a green Subaru station wagon was acting nervously, and kept changing his story.

The driver was identified as Herrera, though he did not have any identification, according to the report.

He told the trooper that he had just bought the car from a woman in Springfield, and was on his way to Claremont, N.H., to have it worked on, wrote Pack. The man later said he was taking the car to Charlestown, N.H., according to the report. However, a Springfield, Vt., destination programmed into the GPS contradicted his story, wrote Pack.

Pack wrote that the driver eventually consented to a search of the vehicle, and told the trooper that a black jacket in the backseat wasn’t his, that it was given to him by the woman he purchased the car from, and destined for the man who was supposed to work on the car.

He told Pack that the woman he bought the car from picked him up, took him to another location, went in, came back with the jacket and placed it in the back seat before the two parted ways.

According to Pack, the driver said he did not know what was in the jacket, and that it may have a drugs or a gun inside, because the intended recipient “was into that type of activity.”

In the jacket’s inner pocket, Pack wrote, he found two plastic sandwich bags, with chunks of a white substance that appeared to be crack cocaine. A field test confirmed that the substance contained cocaine, wrote Pack.

One bag weighed about 56 grams, wrote Pack, the other, 28.

When Herrera was being transported to the Franklin County Jail, wrote Pack, he said he was cold, and asked to put on the black jacket, which he then referred to as his own.

Herrera was arraigned Tuesday in Greenfield District Court, and ordered held on $25,000 cash bail or $250,000 surety. He is scheduled to return May 2, for a bind-over hearing.

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