Man faces heroin charge day after prison release
BRATTLEBORO — A 24-year-old Springfield man pleaded innocent to possessing heroin and narcotics the day after he was released from the state prison in Springfield.
Devin Pratt was ordered held for lack of $5,000 cash bail after his appearance Wednesday in Brattleboro criminal court.
Pratt, who has a lengthy criminal record, was arrested Tuesday by Vermont State Police on three counts — possession of heroin, possession of narcotics and possession of a hallucinogenic drug.
Pratt listed his address as 1 Union St. in Springfield, a “sober house” run by a nonprofit organization in Springfield.
His co-defendant, Juliane K. Tamasi-Bowers, 34, also of Springfield, listed 50 Valley St. as her address. She was charged with a single misdemeanor count of possessing heroin.
According to court records, Pratt was released from Springfield prison Monday after he served his sentence for assault.
Tuesday night, he was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding on Interstate 91 in Rockingham. Police said the car was driven by Eugenia Emerson, 32, of Springfield; Tamasi-Bowers was in the front passenger seat and Pratt in the back seat.
Police said Emerson was driving 76 mph in the posted 65 mph zone.
The two women told police they had driven from Springfield to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Brattleboro — which aroused officers’ suspicions because the KFC in Charlestown, N.H., is much closer to Springfield.
Police said they searched Emerson’s vehicle, with her written permission, and found six packets of heroin tucked into a pack of cigarettes on the passenger side. Tamasi-Bowers admitted the heroin was hers, police said, and that she was an addict.
Police said they found a black can in the back seat of the vehicle labeled “Monster Energy,” which they unscrewed and revealed a hidden compartment. They found 10 bundles with a total of 94 bags of heroin, they said.
Police said the 100 bags in all weighed more than 3 grams, far more than the felony amount of heroin.
Tamasi-Bowers later changed her story and said Pratt had given her six bags of heroin in exchange for arranging a ride to Brattleboro for him, police said.
At the state police barracks in Rockingham, police said, Pratt was searched and officers found a cigarette box in his pants containing hallucinogenic mushrooms as well as 13 wrapped doses of suboxone.
Earlier, police said, they had found a small amount of marijuana on Pratt as well.
Police found an active arrest warrant for Pratt in Vermont for extradition to New Hampshire.
Deputy State’s Attorney David Gartenstein said Pratt was facing serious felony charges stemming from an incident in Milford, N.H.
According to his court record, Pratt had no previous felony convictions, despite being charged with seven felonies. He has been convicted of seven misdemeanors, including assault in Bellows Falls.
A charge of sexual assault in Windham County in 2009 was later dismissed.
Pratt is originally from the Bellows Falls-Westminster area, court records show.
— Staff report