BENNINGTON -- A traffic stop Friday afternoon led police to arrest a man wanted for alleged heroin trafficking, while citing two others for heroin possession.
Bennington Police said at 12:40 p.m. they stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Jewitt Drive and Route 9. A passenger, Desmond Feurtado, 25, had a warrant for his arrest issued out of Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division. He was wanted for heroin trafficking and held at the Rutland jail for lack of $150,000 bail.
On Monday, Feurtado pleaded not guilty to heroin trafficking, a charge which carries a 30-year maximum jail sentence if convicted. Judge Nancy Corsones agreed to keep the $150,000 bail in place and forbid Feurtado to have contact with the two other people in the vehicle.
The affidavit of probable cause was not readily available from the court.
Deputy State's Attorney Robert Plunkett told the court that Feurtado was found to be in possession of three "sleeves" of heroin, each sleeve containing 100 bags. All together the heroin weighed 7.87 grams. In addition to that, Feurtado is accused of being in possession of 10 grams of crack cocaine, which according to Plunkett were concealed in food containers.
Police said the value of the heroin and crack cocaine is estimated at $8,500.
Steven Saltonstall was assigned to represent Feurtado for the arraignment and asked the court how his client was found to be in possession of the drugs given he was not the vehicle's driver.
According to Corsones, who signed off on the search warrant that led to Feurtado's arrest, confidential informants had given police detailed information on how and when Feurtado allegedly transports heroin into Bennington. This information coincided with what police found in the vehicle.
Feurtado is a major supplier of heroin in the Bennington area, according to Bennington Police.
The driver of the vehicle, Gerald Johnson, 30, of Arlington, and a second passenger, Michelle Snyder, 28, of Bennington, were found to be in possession of heroin and cited to appear in court at a later date.
Police said the investigation is not done yet, and it appears likely more charges will be forthcoming. They did not list a hometown for Feurtado.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.