BENNINGTON -- A Brooklyn, N.Y., man who has been incarcerated since February on a single charge of heroin trafficking is now facing five more serious felonies related to him allegedly transporting heroin to Bennington from New York City.
Desmond D. Feurtado, 25, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to heroin trafficking, heroin possession, heroin sale, cocaine possession, and cocaine sale. In February he pleaded not guilty to a single count of heroin trafficking.
Heroin trafficking carries a 30-year maximum sentence on conviction.
Feurtado’s bail and release conditions did not change. He is being held at the Rutland jail on a $150,000 bail bond, for which he only has to post a percentage of.
According to an affidavit by a member of the Vermont Drug Task Force, a number of people who had been arrested in a recent drug sweep gave them enough information for them to believe Feurtado was taking a train from New York City to Albany, N.Y., while in possession of heroin. From there he would then be picked up and driven into Bennington to distribute it to local sellers.
Police said Feurtado would have one or two "sleeves" of heroin with him per trip, which is the equivalent of 100 bags. A bag of heroin can be sold in Vermont for between $20 and $25. It was suspected that Feurtado was carrying these bundles in boxes of noodles, or a black bag.
A warrant for Feurtado’s arrest on the lone heroin trafficking charge was obtained, which allowed members of the Vermont task force, Bennington Police, and Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Drug Task Force to monitor the routes into Bennington from New York in anticipation of his arrival. Police knew when he would be coming through, and had a description of the car he would be riding in.
When the vehicle was sighted in New York, police followed it. It was stopped by Bennington Police on Route 9. The driver, Gerald Johnson, 30, of Arlington, turned over a bag of heroin he said Feurtado had given him on the ride over.
Johnson told police that Feurtado had been concerned about being taken to a residence on North Street, because the female in the car, Michelle Snyder, 28, had been arrested there not long ago. This was in reference to an incident in mid-January when police raided an apartment building to the north of the H&R Block building, near the Subway restaurant. Snyder and three others were arrested because police suspected drugs were being sold from the apartment.
Johnson said when police initiated the traffic stop, Feurtado placed the black bag he had with him in the vehicle’s center console, despite being told that was where the car’s information was kept.
Police said they found crack cocaine and heroin in the bag. The "street" value of the heroin totaled $5,600, while the cocaine’s street value was about $3,000.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.