I-91 traffic stop recovers 1,250 bags of heroin labeled ‘Obamacare,’ ‘Kurt Cobain’
NORTHAMPTON — Two people each from New Jersey and Vermont pleaded not guilty to various drug-related charges Friday after state police allegedly found about 1,250 bags of heroin in their vehicle. According to police, the bags were stamped with the words “ObamaCare,” “Kurt Cobain” and “Channel 9.”
Tyler Robenstein, 23, and Ashley M. Beaulieu, 21, both of Colchester, Vt., pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court to charges of possession of a Class A drug (heroin) with intent to distribute, trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Robenstein faces additional charges of failure to change lanes for an emergency vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and speeding.
The two other passengers in the car, Marquese D. Jones, 22, and Sherod E. Green, 21, both of Newark, N.J., both pleaded not guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute a Class A drug (heroin), trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
According to court records, the four were northbound on Interstate 91 near Exit 18 in Northampton when they passed by a state trooper involved in another traffic stop at a high rate of speed about 2:05 a.m.
The trooper caught up to the vehicle and pulled it over near Exit 21 in Hatfield. Robenstein was driving and Beaulieu was in the passenger seat and neither were able to identify the men in the back seat, according to court files.
Jones allegedly told state police he was getting a ride to visit his grandmother in Burlington, Vt., but said he did not know where in Burlington she lived. A search dog was used and troopers found wax paper bags in the car consistent with heroin packaging and about 1,250 packages of heroin weighing approximately 18 grams or about .63 ounces. Jones and Green were each ordered held on $5,000 cash bail, Robenstein on $1,000 and Beaulieu on $500. All four are due back in court on Jan. 17 for pretrial hearings.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.