An investigator said he believes 29-year-old Douglas Lozada and 25-year-old Edison Lajara, both of Holyoke, Mass., had been dealing drugs in the Brattleboro area and had been using Route 5 through Guilford to enter and leave Vermont.
They were arraigned Monday in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division and face felony charges of heroin trafficking and cocaine possession. Lajara also is charged with giving false information to police.
Lozada is being held on $40,000 bail, while Lajara's bail was set at $20,000.
Both men apparently have been under police suspicion for months. In a court affidavit, Senior Trooper Michael Studin wrote that three Hispanic males from Holyoke had been selling "large quantities" of heroin and cocaine in the Brattleboro area.
"I learned that, in the past, they have stayed at residences in West Brattleboro, Newfane and Dummerston, and they are currently staying in an apartment in downtown Brattleboro with one of their relatives," Studin wrote.
"I learned that they had sold heroin and cocaine from each of these residences and were actively selling heroin and cocaine from the downtown Brattleboro apartment."
Studin said the men regularly traveled in a blue, 2003 Ford Expedition.
"I learned that they take Interstate 91 (north) from Holyoke, and they exit the interstate at Exit 28 in Massachusetts," Studin wrote. "From there, they take U.S. Route 5 into Vermont and (then) they reverse the route on their way back to Holyoke."
Studin said he had seen the Expedition several times outside a West Brattleboro residence.
On Friday, Studin received a tip that two of the men - known by their first names, Edison and Doug - would be meeting a person on Route 5 in Guilford to sell heroin and cocaine.
The trooper said he spotted the vehicle that evening, followed it and pulled the driver over for twice driving onto the double-yellow center line. The stop happened on Guilford Center Road.
Police said Lajara was the driver, and he handed over a Massachusetts identification card identifying himself as Angel Lajara. Lozada was a passenger.
"I asked Lajara if he had ever been arrested before, and he advised me that he had, but just for dumb stuff, nothing major," Studin wrote. "I asked him if there were any drugs inside the vehicle, and he stated no."
Lajara did not initially consent to a search of the vehicle. But while Studin was talking with Lozada, the trooper said he noticed two marijuana grinders in a dashboard floor pocket.
Studin said he pointed those out to Lajara, who then allowed police to search the Expedition.
The trooper said he noticed a "heavy odor of cologne" inside the vehicle "coming from the four bottles of cologne that were stored inside the glove box and center console."
He also spotted a red marijuana pipe in the center console and "numerous small pieces of marijuana on the floor around both the driver and passenger seat," court documents show.
After removing a piece of the dashboard, police allegedly found a bag of cocaine and 133 bags of heroin. The cocaine has a street value of $360, while the heroin is valued at $2,660, Studin wrote.
While en route to the Brattleboro state police barracks, Lajara allegedly acknowledged that he had given police a false name and a fake identification card.
"I later learned that Edison Lajara ... had a suspended Massachusetts driver's license, and he had an active, non-extraditable warrant in the state of Massachusetts," Studin wrote.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.