BARRE — A South Burlington man is accused of having crack cocaine and heroin and again driving under the influence.

Matthew Blake Corbitt, 38, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to felony counts of heroin possession and cocaine possession and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence for the second time, driving with a suspended license and violating conditions of release. If convicted, Corbitt faces a maximum sentence of 19½ years in prison. He was released on conditions.

Trooper Paul Pennoyer, of the Vermont State Police, said in his affidavit a witness called police May 1 to report a white Dodge Ram was swerving all over the roadway on Interstate 89. Pennoyer said the truck was near Exit 10 in Waterbury.

The trooper said he was southbound on the interstate when he saw a truck swerve from the left lane to the right lane without using a turn signal. He said he pulled the truck over and discovered it was the one reportedly driving erratically.

Pennoyer said the driver was identified as Corbitt and he had bloodshot eyes and a bag of marijuana visible in the center console. He said Corbitt immediately admitted to having a suspended license.

Corbitt told the trooper he hadn’t smoked the marijuana, had anything to drink or used any narcotics, except for the methadone that was prescribed for him, according to court records. Pennoyer said Corbitt’s speech was sluggish and his eyelids were drooping.

He said a records check confirmed Corbitt’s license was suspended in 2012 due to a conviction for driving under the influence.

Pennoyer said he took Corbitt into custody for driving under the influence after Corbitt admitted he shouldn’t have been driving. He said Corbitt refused to give him consent to search the vehicle so it was seized.

The trooper said a drug recognition expert evaluated Corbitt and confirmed he had been driving under the influence. Pennoyer said Corbitt also admitted to using heroin before driving.

The trooper said he obtained a search warrant for the truck and inside he found 60 bags of suspected heroin and four grams of a white, rock-like substance that appeared to be crack cocaine.

Corbitt is already facing a charge of driving under the influence for the second time, as well as other charges, for an incident in December. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in January.

In that case, police said on Dec. 31 Corbitt was driving in the wrong lane on Interstate 89 in Berlin and nearly hit a police cruiser head-on. Police said Corbitt was pulled over and showed signs of extreme impairment from alcohol.

eric.blaisdell

@timesargus.com

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