PITTSFIELD — A pair of city women are potentially facing drug trafficking charges after police found approximately $6,000 worth of heroin during a traffic stop on Monday night.
Michelle L. Weed, 38, of West Housatonic Street, and Sarah J. Maschino, 26, of Imperial Avenue, were stopped on Federal Street on Monday night, according to court files.
Weed had been the subject of an investigation conducted by the Berkshire County Drug Task Force into heroin distribution in Pittsfield that began in mid-November.
With the aid of an informant, investigators set up a series of controlled purchases of heroin from Weed, the report said. Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Katy Innes said Maschino was present with Weed during each of those purchases.
Police received information on Monday evening that Weed had left the city to restock her supply of heroin and officers pulled over the vehicle when it returned to the city.
Maschino was the registered owner of the vehicle, but Weed was driving, police said.
During a search of both women and the car, police found about 614 bags of heroin with a street value of around $6,140. Weed was carrying some of the heroin herself and the rest were in plastic bags in her purse, which was stored in the car's center console.
The heroin bags were stamped with different words and phrases including, "Brainstorm," "Louis Vutton," "Selfie," and "VEENENO." Weed told police all of the drugs found were hers.
Innes said during Weed's arraignment the unofficial weight of the seized heroin was between 15.3 and 18.4 grams. The pair could face heroin trafficking charges if the official weight of the drugs found is 18 grams or greater.
They each pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Innes asked Judge William Rota to consider $15,000 bail for Weed, considering she has at least three open criminal cases and seven defaults on court appearances.
Rota set bail for Weed at $5,000 and set Maschino's bail at $1,000 in consideration of her lack of criminal record and her attorney's contention that the drugs found in the car were in Weed's possession.
Weed is due back in court on Feb. 23 for a pretrial hearing. Maschino is due back in court on Feb. 10.