LENOX -- Four warrants are out for the arrest of a suspect in a local heroin bust and three previous heroin charges in the Holyoke area, according to police.
Israel M. Chabarro, 31, of Tyler Street, Pittsfield, was held on $1,000 bail following his arrest early Sunday in what began as a routine traffic stop on Routes 7 and 20 near New Lenox Road, Lenox Police Chief Stephen O'Brien said.
Chabarro was a passenger in a vehicle heading northbound on the state highway driven by Joshua M. Feliciano, 21, of Stearns Avenue, Pittsfield. Fuore stopped the sedan near the Pittsfield city line after he observed it being driven 10 miles an hour under the posted speed limit in the passing lane.
After Feliciano volunteered that his driver's license had been suspended, the Lenox officers noted inconsistencies in his statements, said O'Brien. After Feliciano, Chabarro and a third passenger, who was not charged, were searched for weapons, Fuore and Duval noticed 29 small packages on the ground that had been discarded next to the vehicle. The investigating officers determined that they contained heroin.
Although Chabarro and Feliciano denied any knowledge of heroin, police found an additional 20 packages containing the drug clenched in Chabarro's fist and his sock in the holding cell at the police station, O'Brien stated.
Chabarro was charged with possession of heroin with an estimated street value of up to $1,000. The charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum two-year jail sentence upon conviction, O'Brien said.
Chabarro, who was later released on personal recognizance after he was transferred from the Lenox police station to the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction, failed to appear in Southern Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to answer the charges, O'Brien stated. He had also skipped recently scheduled court appearances at Holyoke District Court.
Feliciano was charged with several traffic violations, including driving with a revoked license and failure to drive in the right lane, the police report stated.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
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On Twitter: @BE_cfanto