WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Windsor man may face life in prison as a habitual offender after police said they found heroin in his motel room.
Luis “Pops” Rodriguez, 29, of Windsor was arrested early Monday during a traffic stop on Route 44A in West Windsor as the result of a Vermont State Police investigation that began hours earlier.
Rodriguez pleaded innocent Monday in White River Junction criminal court to a felony count of heroin possession as his girlfriend held their infant daughter and cried quietly directly behind him.
Because of his previous five felony convictions in Vermont and New Hampshire for selling heroin and cocaine, prosecutors charged Rodriguez as a habitual offender which makes him eligible for “enhanced penalties” of up to life in prison. He was taken to the Springfield jail for lack of $25,000 bail.
Trooper Ryan Wood wrote in an affidavit that the events leading to Rodriguez’s arrest started Sunday evening. He said he’d stopped a car on Interstate 91 in Windsor and questioned the driver, Dennis Mayotte, 27, about used hypodermic needles and several empty heroin baggies found in his car and his pockets.
Mayotte allegedly told Wood he had just bought heroin from a dealer named “Pops” who was staying at the Yankee Village Motel.
“Mayotte said he has been buying heroin from ‘Pops’ for approximately three weeks and had bought as much as 50 bags of heroin at once,” Wood wrote, adding that Mayotte said that Pops has just received a new shipment of drugs that day.
After staking out the motel, several troopers followed Rodriguez and his girlfriend as they left his motel room and drove toward West Windsor. Once the car was stopped for going 5 mph over the speed limit, Wood said he searched Rodriguez and found a bundle of 10 methadone tablets wrapped in black electrical tape in a jacket pocket.
A subsequent search of Rodriguez’s room at the motel turned up a metal tin containing “needles as well as a large bundle of glassine bags” with the street brand “Price Right” printed on them, Wood wrote. In all, police said, 1.3 grams of heroin were in the metal tin and $2,745 in cash was in the car.
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