Heroin seized after trooper pulls over vehicle for handwritten license plate

Franklin County

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Vermont men are facing drug trafficking charges after a trooper stopped their vehicle for having improper lights and a handwritten license plate in Shelburne Falls last week. 

Massachusetts State Police said on July 16, troopers arrested 31-year-old Justin Butchino and 36-year-old Justin Gilliam, both of Springfield, Vt., after conducting the traffic stop at 12:30 a.m. The driver, Butchino, had an expired and suspended driver’s license and when asked about the makeshift license plate, he could not provide the correct documents. 

The passenger of the vehicle, Gilliam, was able to provide troopers with an ID card. 

Photo: Massachusetts State Police

Troopers arrested Butchino and allegedly found a bundle of heroin in his pockets. Gilliam was also arrested after troopers found suspected crystal methamphetamine in his pockets. He was a little argumentative but remained a complaint, according to State Police. 

An inventory search of the vehicle turned up a used syringe, a box cutter, two bundles of heroin, a small white baggie containing fentanyl, a glass pipe, and a cereal box with 3,100 bags of heroin and a plastic baggie of crack cocaine. 

Both men were arraigned in Greenfield District Court on several drug trafficking and drug possession charges. Butchino faces additional charges for an unlicensed vehicle and the misuse of auxiliary lights. He was taken to an area hospital to be treated for a pre-existing medical condition before being booked.

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