Trio charged after car stop

WESTFIELD – A city couple and their friend are facing a variety of heroin related charges after they went shopping in Holyoke – with the couple’s 18-month-old daughter.
Not only were they “ripped off” by the first person they tried to buy heroin from but, after using all of the drugs they eventually bought before they even got back to Westfield, an alert trooper spotted the operator and recognized her to be a person he had stopped “several times in the past” and who he believed to have a suspended license.
State Trooper Alexander W. Berry, on routine patrol from the Russell barracks, reports he had been stopped in the parking lot of a North Road restaurant monitoring traffic Tuesday at 4:42 p.m. when he saw Lindsay A. Woodbury, 26, of 16 Washington St., operating the same vehicle she had been in during previous encounters.
After confirming that the woman’s license was indeed suspended, Berry stopped the 1996 Fort Taurus sedan near the Southampton Road intersection.
Berry reports that, as the car stopped, he observed the front seat passenger lean toward and reach into the center console. He reports he saw the woman then “place both of their (sic) hands directly in front of their body, in their chest area, and they appeared to either be buttoning a jacket or concealing/retrieving something for a pocket in this area of their body.”
When Berry confirmed that Woodbury was the operator he observed, in the back seat, a young child in a car seat and a male party.
Berry required both of the adults to place and keep their hands in clear view and ordered Woodbury from the car, placing her in handcuffs and informing her that she was arrested for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
When he asked her, prior to a pat frisk, if she was in possession of any weapons or contraband, she told him that there was “a straw and empty bag, which previously contained heroin, in her right boot.”
When she removed the boot, Berry saw the bag, “with ‘007’ stamped on it” and “trace amounts of a powder like substance” on it, and a pink straw “with a powdery residue on the inside of it.”
Berry reports that Whitman told him that she had used the straw to snort the heroin which had been in the bag. She explained that she and the others were returning from Holyoke where they had purchased heroin but said that she believed that it had all been used already.
A city officer, Seth Florek, came upon the trooper and stopped to assist him. Berry also requested a female officer to assist and Officer Juanita Mejias was dispatched.
Woodbury told Berry that the 18-month-old girl in the car was the daughter she has in common with the male passenger, Christopher C. Whitman, 32, also of 16 Washington Street.
Whitman was ordered out of the car and told Berry, during a pat frisk, that he had a straw in his left shoe and Berry found a blue straw, “with a thick powder residue.”
Based on the residue, Berry reports, he inferred that “it appeared to have been used to snort/ingest heroin multiple times” and Whitman was also taken into custody.
When Berry spoke with the female passenger, Jessica Smith, 26, of 15 Clark Street, the woman told him that there was a needle in her purse which “she used to take her diabetes medication” and repeatedly said that she does not use drugs.
Smith said that she had gone for a ride to Holyoke “to get out of the house” and a check for weapons revealed none.
While Berry investigated the baby and the vehicle, Florek engaged Smith in conversation.
She eventually told Florek, Berry reports, that there had been “numerous bags containing heroin, or the remnants of, in the center console of the vehicle” but when the trooper stopped the car “she grabbed all of the bags and concealed them in her bra.”
She then reached into her bra and produced eight wax paper bags which Florek delivered to Berry.
Berry found that seven contained only residue but one bag had not been opened. Four of the bags were also marked with the ‘007’ logo seen on the empty bag Berry had found in Woodbury’s boot.
Smith was also arrested and all three adults, and the child, were transported to the State Police barracks in Russell. The car was towed from North Road.
At the barracks, the baby was evaluated by an emergency medical technician and the Department of Children and Families was notified.
Woodbury’s sister, a Russell resident, took custody of the girl and was interviewed later by the DCF workers when they visited the child at her home.
All three suspects were charged with possession of a Class A drug, being present where heroin is kept and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Woodbury was also charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and failure to notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of a change of name or address.
Both Whitman and Woodbury agreed, after acknowledging that they had been advised of their rights established by the Miranda ruling, to speak with Berry and “both admitted to a similar story, that the three of them have narcotics addiction problems and had driven (with the child in the car) to the city of Holyoke this afternoon to purchase heroin.”
Whitman explained that they owed money to Smith and she had accompanied them to Holyoke with the expectation that she would share in the heroin they intended to purchase.
Both suspects explained that “the first person they attempted to buy heroin from had ‘ripped them off’ by taking their money and never returning with the narcotics.
They told Berry “they then found another person to buy drugs from.”
Smith declined to speak with Berry but he notes that, when she was asked a routine booking question about recent use of drugs or medication, “she responded by admitting that she had used heroin on this day.”
The two women were released on their personal recognizance at 9:45 p.m. by the bail clerk but Whitman was held overnight.
All three were arraigned yesterday in Westfield District Court before Judge Rita Koenigs who set bail at $500 for Woodbury but allowed a motion by Assistant District Attorney Magali Montes to revoke bail which had been imposed by Holyoke District Court after she had been arraigned on charges there which included possession of heroin. Woodbury was held without right to bail in that case and will return to the Westfield court May 8 for a pretrial hearing.
Whitman was held in lieu of $1,000 bail imposed by Koenigs and will also return to court on May 8.
Smith was released on her person recognizance pending a pretrial hearing, also on May 8.

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