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Addiction in Franklin County

Four charged after stop nets 300 bags of heroin

BERNARDSTON — State police intercepted 300 bags of heroin allegedly bound for Brattleboro, Vt., Monday night and charged four people with drug offenses.

Kevin Kelly, 35, of Brattleboro, was arrested on charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute as a subsequent offense and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Alan Richardson, 51, of Swanzey, N.H., was arrested on charges of knowingly being present where heroin is kept and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Richard Santor, 35, of Dummerston, Vt., will be summoned to court on charges of knowingly being present where heroin is kept and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Hope Townsend, 27, of Brattleboro, will be summoned to court on charges of knowingly being present where heroin is kept and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Their legal troubles started with a simple traffic stop.

Trooper Michael McNally saw the four headed north on Brattleboro Road, in a car with its plate light out, at about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

“The driver said they were going back to Brattleboro, but he wasn’t sure where they were coming from,” said McNally.

McNally said the driver, Richardson, was acting nervous, showing signs of narcotics use, including constricted pupils and wearing a novelty baseball cap that said “narcotics officer.”

McNally separated the vehicle’s occupants to see what they would say without the others in earshot. That’s when Santor told him he had 100 bags of heroin in his underwear, McNally said.

McNally said Santor is not being charged with possession because he told the trooper that he was holding the drugs for another passenger, who did not have enough room in his waistband to fit all 300 bags. McNally said that, as he waited for backup, he saw Santor get up and down in his seat, which led him to believe Santor’s story about holding the drugs for Kelly.

When McNally frisked Kelly, he noticed a large object in his waistband, the trooper said.

“He said ‘you got me,’ and admitted to having 200 bags of heroin on him,” McNally said.

McNally said Kelly also sported suspected gang tattoos on his hand.

McNally said the 300 bags were labeled “Nike,” and bore the athletic clothing manufacturer’s “swoosh” trademark. The origin of the drugs remained unknown Tuesday night, the investigation still under way.

Several recent heroin busts have involved people headed to Vermont, where they allegedly planned to resell heroin from the Holyoke and Springfield areas, where the drug is cheaper. Though most have occurred on Interstate 91, Brattleboro Road has been the site of some.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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