A car chase that began in Morristown and involved officers from three different departments ended with the driver and three passengers, all from Philadelphia, being accused of drug-related offenses by police.
According to Morristown police, Brameir Johnson, 18, of Philadelphia, was driving a Florida-registered vehicle through Morristown at about 9:34 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9.
Police tried to stop Johnson for a motor vehicle violation when he instead took off, heading east on Route 15. Officers from the Lamoille County Sheriff’s and Hardwick Police departments joined Morristown chasing Johnson, who eventually stopped in Hardwick.
While pursuing the vehicle, police saw something thrown from the vehicle’s passenger side — upon recovery it was determined to be about 55.4 grams of cocaine.
According to Morristown police, it was packaged in small quantities, “consistent with illegal narcotics trafficking.”
The street value of the drugs was about $5,540, police said. Officers also seized and impounded $4,054 in cash during the arrests.
All of the cars occupants — including Johnson, Love Johnson, 20, Jimmy Reynolds, 22, and Dymirr Culbreath, 18, all of Philadelphia — were initially accused by police of cocaine trafficking.
Brameir Johnson was also accused of attempting to elude police, careless and negligent operation and providing false information to police.
However, the charges leveled against all four were reduced by the time of their arraignment.
Over the weekend, the four were lodged at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury after failing to post $10,000 bail.
They were arraigned Monday; Johnson and Reynolds each pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine, and bail was set for each at $2,500.
Per a Vermont law that went into effect on July 1, the cases of those 20 and younger, charged with a crime that is not considered violent, are referred to family court.
Johnson and Culbreath’s cases, now in family court, are confidential, so information about them is not available to the public.