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Addiction in Franklin County

Vt. woman arrested on heroin charges

BERNARDSTON — Police took more than 80 bags of heroin off the streets after an Interstate 91 traffic stop.

Mariah Gagne, 24, of Springfield, Vt., was arrested on charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and possession of a Class B substance, as well as a license plate violation, after she was pulled over Friday afternoon.

“When I pulled her over, I noticed her pupils were constricted, and she wore a tank top, making multiple track marks very visible on both of her arms,” said trooper Michael McNally.

He said the woman had hidden the heroin in a body cavity in an attempt to avoid detection.

McNally said Gagne first stated she was coming from Holyoke, then changed her mind and said she was on the way back from Pittsfield. He believes she was taking the heroin back to her home state.

He said heroin is often purchased in the Springfield and Holyoke areas and taken back to Vermont to be sold for a profit. He praised Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin for addressing the Green Mountain State’s heroin problem in his recent state of the state address.

Echoing the words of many officials in western Massachusetts, McNally said addiction treatment and prevention is needed to fight the Northeast’s heroin problem, in addition to enforcement of drug laws.

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