Donna Spoor does not fit the profile of a major drug trafficker.
Approaching retirement age, the 64-year-old Whitehall resident has no history of drug or criminal arrests with local police. She unsuccessfully ran for Whitehall Village Board on at least two occasions in the mid-2000s and served on the Whitehall Republican Committee.
But there she was on the side of the Northway in Wilton Thursday night, pulled over for a traffic violation and allegedly found to have 4.6 ounces of cocaine. That is a major amount of the substance for rural upstate New York, and it resulted in State Police filing the state’s second-weightiest drug charge against her.
State Police allege Spoor was serving as a drug courier for a New York City-based group that has been selling drugs in Rutland, Vt.
Whether the traffic stop was a random one or State Police had been tipped off was unclear Monday. Police said Spoor’s vehicle was pulled over because she failed to dim her high beam headlights and failed to signal when changing lanes.
What is clear, though, is police have increased pressure on groups moving drugs between New York and Vermont. At least six people who were allegedly bringing heroin or cocaine to Vermont have been arrested on area roads over the past six weeks.
The arrests happened on the Northway, Route 4 and Route 149. The seized drugs were headed for the Rutland, Vt., or Burlington, Vt., areas, police said.
Members of the Washington County Drug Task Force set up a checkpoint one day last week at the intersection of routes 4 and 22 to target drug couriers. Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said no significant quantities of drugs were seized, but a driver who was under the influence of drugs was arrested.
Among the weapons used by police at the checkpoint was an X-ray machine, owned by the Army National Guard, that can look for hidden compartments in vehicles, Murphy said.
“We want to be proactive. We know the drug problem is getting worse,” Murphy said. “We want drug traffickers to know this is not the best route to be taking.”
Whitehall Police Chief Matt Dickinson said village police had not known Spoor to be involved in drug activity. He said he was aware she had been dating a man from Rutland, Vt., though.
Kortright said he knows Spoor, and his office prosecuted a theft case in which Spoor was a victim but had not prosecuted her or known her to be involved in criminal activity.
“I was surprised to hear she would be involved in a situation like this,” Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said. “She certainly does not fit the profile of a drug dealer.”
Spoor was northbound on the Northway near Exit 16 when she was pulled over.
A New York City man was in the vehicle with Spoor, but he was not charged because the drugs were found in Spoor’s possession, police said.
Spoor was arraigned on a felony charge of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and sent to Saratoga County Jail Thursday.