850 bags of heroin land local man in jail
GREENFIELD — A local man was sent to jail after he pleaded guilty to a heroin charge in Franklin Superior Court Thursday.
Allen Smith, 29, of 10 Heather Court, was sentenced to 2½ years in county jail, on a single charge of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. He was ordered to serve 18 months of the sentence before being released and placed on probation for one year. During his probation, he must submit to random drug and alcohol testing and comply with any substance abuse treatment ordered by probation.
A Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Smith, as well as more than $550 found on him during his arrest, were ordered to be forfeited in a related civil case Thursday.
Smith was originally charged with trafficking in heroin, as well as carrying a dangerous weapon. Both charges were dismissed by the state in drafting the plea bargain.
Smith was arrested with 850 bags of heroin on March 21, 2013.
Trooper Michael McNally was patrolling Interstate 91 northbound at about 10:22 that night, when he saw Smith drive by in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The trooper noticed the vehicle’s plate was nearly too dirty to read and observed the SUV swerving and speeding.
Through the previous drug arrests of others, McNally had learned that Smith was involved in the area heroin trade. He called ahead to trooper Stephen Bushay for backup.
Bushay pulled Smith over after he exited the interstate at the Route 2 rotary and headed toward Greenfield center. McNally arrived shortly afterward. Approaching the window, the troopers noticed what looked like a switchblade on the dashboard, said prosecutor Jeremy Bucci.
Troopers ordered Smith, as well as his girlfriend and an infant out of the vehicle, which they then searched.
They found no drugs in the passenger compartment, but hit paydirt when they opened the vehicle’s hood.
They were inclined to look in the engine compartment after finding a dryer sheet behind the glove box. Fabric softener sheets are often used to mask the smell of contraband, according to McNally’s arrest report.
Troopers found a package “the size of a brick,” made up of 16 blocks, each containing 50 bags of heroin in 10-bag bundles.
The bags carried a “brainstorm” logo. Branding is common in the heroin business, and trooper Nicholas Pellegrino previously told The Recorder that the “brainstorm” brand comes from the Holyoke area.
An additional 50 bags were found after the passenger admitted to carrying them in her underwear, according to Pellegrino.
Numerous heroin arrests have been made along Interstate 91 in recent years. Some law enforcement professionals have dubbed it “the heroin highway,” since people from Franklin County and points north often travel to places like Holyoke, Springfield, Hartford, Conn. and farther to buy heroin and bring it back north.