BARRE – Police say a Massachusetts man had 50 bags of heroin in Montpelier.

Alexander J. Cotton, 25, of Springfield, Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty Friday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to a felony count of heroin possession and a misdemeanor count of narcotic possession. If convicted, Cotton faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison. He was ordered held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury on $25,000 bail.

Cpl. Jonathan Houle, of the Barre City police, said in his affidavit law enforcement were conducting surveillance on Barre Street in Montpelier Thursday on a home that is known for drug activity. Houle said law enforcement had gathered information stating drugs were being moved out of the home.

He said he saw a male, later identified as Cotton, leave the home and get into a vehicle. Houle said the car Cotton was driving failed to use its turn signal at an intersection and was pulled over.

Houle said he asked Cotton where he was coming from and he replied he had been at his girlfriend’s place. Houle asked Cotton what his girlfriend’s last name was and he said he didn’t know, according to court records. Cotton told Houle he was on vacation.

Houle said he asked Cotton where he was staying and he first started to say with the girlfriend, but told Houle he was staying at a hotel. He said he asked Cotton where the hotel was, but Cotton told him he had been staying at a hotel, but isn’t anymore.

Houle said Cotton was asked to step out of the vehicle and when searched by police an object was felt in Cotton’s pocket. He said Cotton was asked what the object was and he said it was money, but Houle said it felt like bags of heroin.

Houle said Cotton was then taken into custody and the object was removed from his pocket and did appear to be bags of heroin. He said there were 50 bags of suspected heroin that weighed approximately 1.1 grams.

For the narcotic possession charge, Houle said he obtained a search warrant for the vehicle Cotton was driving and found oxycodone pills inside.

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