State Police Arrest Three for Cocaine, Heroin Trafficking in Western Massachusetts
A set of temporary plates have to lead to the arrest of three Vermont residents who were trafficking a large number of drugs through Massachusetts.
This past Friday, November 4, just after 9:30 p.m. Massachusetts State Trooper Gregory Moretti and his field training officer Trooper Kurt Wilkins were on patrol on Route 91 northbound in Bernardston. Trooper Moretti noted a white Subaru WRX pass him with a temporary tag that was unreadable even at a short distance of only a few feet away in the adjacent lane.
Trooper Moretti search what little information was visible on the temp plate, but that yielded no results and pulled the vehicle over. The white Subaru was very slow to stop, traveling for more than a quarter mile before they did so. The two Troopers were able to see three occupants inside the car, as they were moving around and ducking out of view prior to stopping.
Once the vehicle came to a stop the Troopers spoke with the operator, Joshua Francis, 39, of Essex, Vermont. Francis stated his Vermont driver’s license was expired, and the two Troopers noticed indicators of drug activity and drug paraphernalia including a needle in plain view on the interior of the car. Investigating with their cruiser mobile data terminal, the two Troopers found Francis’ Vermont license was indeed suspended.
Due to the vehicle's hesitance to stop, the evidence of drug usage, needles in the car, and the driver operating with a suspended license, Troopers had Francis and the two passengers, Devon Thomas, 31, of Hartford, Connecticut, and Tanya Francis, 39, also of Essex, VT step out of the vehicle in order to conduct a search. Through conversation with Joshua Francis, it was discovered that there was heroin in the vehicle. The search revealed that there were more than 30 packets of heroin and 62 grams of a white powdery substance believed to be crack cocaine.
Joshuah Francis, Tanya Francis, and Devon Thomas were all placed under arrest and transported to the Shelburne Falls Barracks for booking. They were arraigned at Greenfield District Court on the following charges: Trafficking in Cocaine, Possession of Heroin, and Conspiracy to Violate Drug Law. Additionally, Joshua Francis was issued traffic citations for Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Number Plate Violation.
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