PRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A state trooper was dragged as he fought with a driver for control of his car during a traffic stop in Springfield Monday night. With the help of a city police officer, that driver and his two passengers, were arrested, and are now facing drug trafficking charges.
According to Massachusetts State Police Media Relations, shortly after 10:00 P.M., Trooper Theodore Tudryn saw 24 year-old Justin Morgan of Newport, Vermont commit motor vehicle violations on I-91 northbound, as well as on I-291. Tudryn tried to stop Morgan, who finally pulled over after getting off the highway on Dwight Street.
As Tudryn spoke to Morgan and his passengers, state police say the trooper noticed a small bag of crack cocaine inside the car.
Springfield Police Officer Dan Cintron had arrived to earlier provide assistance, and was following alongside the passenger side of the car. Cintron and Tudryn were finally able to get Morgan’s car stopped, and Cintron pulled Morgan out of the car on the passenger side.Tudryn opened Morgan’s door and tried to get him to get out of the car- getting handcuffs on one of his arms. State police say that Morgan resisted, putting the car in drive, and dragging Tudryn along as his body was only halfway in the car. Tudryn managed to put the car in park briefly, but Morgan put it in drive again and accelerated. At this point, the trooper had fought his way completely inside the car.
State police say that between Morgan and his two passengers – Joseph Peets, 30, of Morrisville, Vermont, and Robert G. Fitzgerald, 26, of Eden- they had about 800 bags of “Jungle Killer”-branded heroin.
All three suspects are charged with:
- Trafficking in heroin/morphine/opium
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
Morgan faces the following additional charges:
- Assault and battery on a police officer
- Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle)
- Resisting arrest
- Negligent operation of a motor vehicle
- Motor vehicle operator refusing to identify self
- Marked lanes violation
- Number plate violation
Morgan was held on $50,000 bail, while Fitzgerald and Peets were held on $25,000 bail. All were scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in Springfield District Court.