BERNARDSTON, Mass. -- Three Vermonters and a New Hampshire resident were busted with 300 bags of heroin following a routine traffic stop by the Massachusetts State Police on Keets Brook Road on Monday night.

According to police, a vehicle driven by Alan Richardson, 51, of Swanzey, N.H., was pulled over at 9:30 p.m. for having a license plate light malfunction. An investigation revealed the vehicle was being used to transport heroin.

Kevin Kelly, 35, of Brattleboro, Hope Townsend, 26, of Brattleboro, and Richard Santor, 35, of Dummerston, were passengers in the vehicle Richardson was driving when Massachusetts State Trooper Michael McNally noticed the faulty plate light.

Richardson and Kelly were taken to Franklin County House of Corrections in Greenfield, Mass., where they were held until their arraignments in Greenfield District Court on Tuesday. Richardson was charged with a number plate violation, knowingly being present where heroin was kept and conspiracy to violate drug law while Kelly was charged with possession to distribute a Class A substance and conspiracy to violate drug law.

The next court date for both men has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday, April 4. Both are being held at Franklin County House of Corrections on $200 bail, according to Greenfield District Court.

The Massachusetts State Police's Office of Media Relations reported that Santor and Townsend will be summoned to court at a later date.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.