A St. Johnsbury man has denied driving around town with a backpack of illegal drugs in his car.
Hummingbird Takahashi, 41, pleaded not guilty to a felony count of marijuana possession and a misdemeanor count of cocaine possession in Caledonia Superior Court Monday. Takahashi was released on the condition that he not buy, have or use regulated drugs without a valid prescription.
According to an affidavit filed by Ofc. Anna Allard, Takahashi's blue 2005 Volkswagen hatchback was stopped near the Fenton Road intersection after being clocked by radar going 48 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. zone.
Allard said that as she talked with Takahashi she detected a "strong odor" of what she suspected to be marijuana coming from the vehicle and called for back-up. St. Johnsbury Police Chief Clem Houde responded to the scene and spoke with Takahashi who then gave police permission to search his car.
According to the affidavit Allard searched the car and located a backpack containing 0.035 oz. of cocaine in a tin that resembled a cell phone and 2.9 oz. of marijuana in several plastic bags that had been individually packaged and labeled with several different names including "In & Outdoor Canadian," "Super SD," "OG Kush," "Sour Diesel" and "Mountain Uncle Joe."
Police said the backpack also contained a scale and other drug related paraphernalia including grinders, scales, a pipe and marijuana seeds. While searching Takahashi's car police also located a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson "Body Guard 380" handgun under the front passenger seat and a loaded magazine of .38 caliber ammunition in the drivers' side door.
If convicted of the charges Takahashi faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in jail on the felony marijuana charge and one year for the misdemeanor cocaine charge. Takahashi has no prior Vermont criminal record.
In March of 2011 he was convicted of driving without a license in Hawaii and was ordered to pay $330 in fines and court fees.
When Allard stopped Takahashi she had only been patrolling by herself for about two weeks after completing a required 400 hours of field training accompanied by veteran officers. Allard is now a deputy with the Caledonia County Sheriffs's Department.