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Montague traffic stop leads to drug, other charges

MONTAGUE — What could have been a speeding ticket became a slew of criminal charges early Saturday morning after Montague Police stopped a Gill man on Millers Falls Road, allegedly drunk and with a plastic shopping bag full of prescription drugs.

Brian R. Heath, 28, of 19 French King Highway, Gill, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Greenfield District Court to charges of operating under the influence of liquor, speeding in violation of special regulation, operating to endanger, having an expired inspection sticker and four counts of drug possession with intent to distribute.

The drug charges represented Class B, A, E and C substances.

Police stopped Heath on Millers Falls Road by West Mineral Road for speeding, 53 mph in a 40 mph zone and a construction zone, according to the report filed in District Court.

Police arrested Heath after he failed several field sobriety tests, allegedly finding the drugs during the pre-tow inventory of his car.

According to the arrest report filed by Sgt. Christopher Lapointe, a plastic bag in the front passenger seat contained numerous pill bottles with prescription labels made out to a woman Heath said was his girlfriend.

Heath told police his girlfriend sells the pills, for which she has a prescription but does not need, and he had taken them from her after an argument and planned to throw them out.

The list of items allegedly found in the vehicle included 23 10-milligram pills of methadone hydrochloride, 15 60-mg. morphine pills, 34 trazodone, 9 diazepam, 98 chlordiazepoxide, 30 10-mg. methadone and 10 phenazopyridine, as well as two empty prescription oxycodone bottles.

Heath had a small plastic bag consistent with distribution of various narcotics in his back pocket containing two oxycodone pills, according to police, and a third loose pill.

Judge William Mazanec ordered Heath released on personal recognizance.

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