1,000 packets of heroin seized following Whately traffic stop, arrest

  • Over 1,000 packets of heroin were seized during a traffic stop on Interstate 91 in Whately that resulted in the arrest of Tommy Newhall, 37, of Chester, Vt., and Jennifer West, 36, of Claremont, N.H. Troopers also seized cocaine and Xanax. Courtesy photo/Massachusetts State Police

Staff Report
Published: 5/11/2021 4:13:22 PM

WHATELY — Massachusetts State Police seized more than 1,000 packets of heroin during an Interstate 91 traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of a Vermont resident and a New Hampshire resident.

The driver, Tommy Newhall, 37, of Chester, Vt., was charged with trafficking in heroin, possession of cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation, according to a Massachusetts State Police press release. The passenger, Jennifer West, 36, of Claremont, N.H., was charged with trafficking in heroin, possession of cocaine, possession of Xanax and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Both were arraigned in Greenfield District Court and bail was set at $3,000 each. According to an employee in the clerk’s office, West had posted bail by noon on Tuesday but Newhall had not. Both are due back in court on June 3.

According to the State Police, the traffic stop occurred on Friday, May 7, at 12:20 a.m. Trooper Tyler Hersom, assigned to the Northampton barracks, was on patrol on Interstate 91 in Whately at 12:20 a.m. on May 7 when he noticed a blue Chevrolet Equinox veering in and out of its lane, according to the release. Hersom stopped the vehicle and asked Newhall for his license and registration, only to learn he does not have a driver’s license. Trooper Brendan O’Brien arrived on scene and he and Hersom explained the vehicle would need to be towed because neither Newhall nor West were properly licensed.

According to the release, O’Brien observed in West’s purse what he believed to be a baggie containing cocaine, which he watched her remove and stuff in between the front seats. During a search of the purse, the police allegedly found 20 bundles of heroin.

After arresting Newhall and West, the troopers searched the vehicle and allegedly found bundles of heroin, bound with rubber bands, the release continues. A State Police K-9 unit responded, and the dog helped police find another bundle of heroin, a container of cocaine and the original bag West had allegedly attempted to hide.

In total, 1,008 individual packets of heroin, 7 grams of cocaine and 1 gram of Xanax were secured, according to the release. Newhall and West were taken to the State Police barracks in Northampton for booking.




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