Cops: "Epidemic" heroin seized in search of truck

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BENNINGTON — A local man who police said they found unconscious behind the wheel in a supermarket parking lot Saturday has denied drugged driving and heroin possession charges.

Police said they seized from his truck 40 bags of heroin that were stamped with the word "Epidemic."

The 31-year-old who pleaded innocent in Bennington criminal court this week also denied violating his probation.

A condition of his release is that he attend a residential drug rehabilitation program while his case is pending.

Bennington police were called to Hannaford Supermarket, at 141 Hannaford Square, just before 6 p.m. Saturday for a man passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle, according to an affidavit. Bennington Officer Robert Murawski wrote that the 2004 Chevrolet truck was in the road and not a parking space; the truck was in drive; and the driver had his foot on the brake. The driver, Danny R. Main Jr., awoke when a rescue squad member broke a window to shift the truck into park. Main told police that he had fallen asleep because he had taken prescription medication.

Main was evaluated by rescue squad members and declined to be taken to the hospital.

A state police drug recognition expert who evaluated Main determined he was under the influence of cannabinoids and opiates.

Police were granted a search warrant for a blood sample from Main. At Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, "Main told staff that he would not consent to his blood being drawn," Murawski wrote.

On Monday, Main pleaded not guilty to felony driving under the influence for a third offense, heroin possession, and impeding a public officer.

Defense attorney Susan Keane McManus, representing Main during his arraignment, asked Judge John W. Valente to set bail at $250, an amount that she said Main could post. She said Main is self-employed and has strong ties to Bennington. She said Main was not a flight risk.

Robert Plunkett, deputy state's attorney, asked Valente to continue the $5,000 bail set when Main was arrested. He said the fact that Main refused to consent to have blood drawn is "to some degree, an indication of an attempt to avoid prosecution." He noted Main was on probation.

Last May, Main was given a one-to-three year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to felony heroin possession. State police said Main had bags of heroin with the name "Donald Trump" stamped on them.

Valente set bail at $5,000.

Main is due back in court June 11.

Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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