BENNINGTON -- A School Street man is facing a potentially lengthy jail sentence after a positive drug test led police and probation officials to suspect of selling narcotics.

Eugene F. Tanner, 41, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a felony county of narcotic sale, and a misdemeanor charge of narcotic possession.

According to court records, Tanner has five felony charges on his record, three for domestic assault, one for false pretenses, and another for forgery. This allowed the state to file a "habitual offender" enhancement on the new felony, meaning if Tanner is convicted on in the state can argue for him to serve up to life in prison. Tanner was held without bail after his arraignment.

An affidavit by Bennington Police Cpl. Andy Hunt says that on April 17 field supervisors for the Department of Corrections said they wished for police to search Tanner’s home because a urine test he had taken came back positive for opiates. Tanner said he had Hydrocodone pills and gave police permission to search his apartment.

Police found seven pills and two lines of powder, along with some marijuana. On Tanner’s phone they also found text messages between him in a woman indicating he was selling pills. The next day they spoke to the woman who said she planned to buy five pills from Tanner for $7 each but backed out when she saw police and DOC officials at his home.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.