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Addiction in Franklin County

Highway stop leads to crack bust

GREENFIELD — A traffic stop turned into cocaine trafficking charges for a Vermont man and woman.

Roddy J. White, 30, and Jennifer L. Bassett, 25, both of White River Junction, pleaded innocent to charges of trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws Tuesday in Greenfield District Court.

White was also charged with driving with a suspended license, and driving an unregistered motor vehicle.

A passenger in the vehicle, David Reyes, 23, of Vermont, is also sought, according to a police report by trooper Steven Hean. The report stated that Reyes was released by police before the vehicle’s other occupants were arrested.

Hean pulled the trio over after he saw a northbound sedan, operated by White, swerve over markings between lanes on the highway at about 6:24 p.m. Monday.

White told Hean that they had driven from White River Junction, Vt., to the Holyoke Mall for a pair of sneakers, which they did not wind up buying, according to the report.

Hean, a former Vermont narcotics detective, became suspicious of drug activity because of the distance traveled, he wrote. He said that Vermont dealers often buy heroin and cocaine in Massachusetts, where prices are lower.

Hean called police in Hartford, Vt., who told him that they had reason to believe Reyes and Bassett were active dealers of crack cocaine and heroin in White River Junction.

White later told Hean that his passengers bought crack from a person at the mall, and that he had seen Bassett conceal a package in her pants before being pulled over, according to the report.

Bassett was taken to the state police barracks, where she eventually agreed to retrieve the package from a body cavity, wrote Hean. She retrieved a plastic bag full of crack cocaine, together weighing “just over an ounce,” wrote Hean.

Hean wrote that charges of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to violate drug laws would be pursued against Reyes.

White and Bassett are due back in Greenfield District Court Feb. 27.

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

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