St. Johnsbury Police Ofc. Robert Gerrish was told a baggie of white power found in a car during a traffic stop was “coffee creamer.”

But Gerrish didn’t fall for it and a St. Johnsbury man has now been charged with possession of cocaine.

Timothy A. Briggs, 38, pleaded not guilty in Caledonia County Superior Court Monday to the misdemeanor charge and was released on conditions by Judge Michael J. Harris.

Caledonia County Superior Court

According to an affidavit filed by Ofc. Gerrish in support of the charge, Briggs was pulled over for a motor vehicle violation while driving a silver Honda Civic on Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury at 8:51 p.m. on May 15.

“The vehicle lacked an inspection sticker and front plate,” wrote Ofc. Gerrish in his report. “In addition, queries through dispatch revealed the vehicle registration plates did not return to match any vehicle …”

During the stop, Ofc. Gerrish noticed a small plastic bag containing a “white powdery residue” in the center console area of the car just below the radio.

Briggs’ passenger, identified as Michelle Skinner, 31, said she had an explanation for it.

“Skinner stated it was coffee creamer,” wrote Gerrish.

But Gerrish was not convinced and field testing revealed that the “coffee creamer” was actually cocaine.

In addition to Briggs and Skinner, there was a third occupant of the car identified by police as Todd C. Marsh, 44, according to the affidavit.

Police said Briggs was charged after he claimed the bag of cocaine was his.

“Briggs stated that ‘I guess it was mine. I guess,’” wrote Ofc. Gerrish in his report.

If convicted of the charge, Briggs faces a possible sentence of up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.


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