A telltale syringe meant jail for two Vermont residents and a Brooklyn man Tuesday after officers stopped them on the Sprain Brook Parkway in Greenburgh with more than $20,000 worth of heroin in their car, police said.
Tory Keyser, 25, of Alburgh, Vt.; Thomas Muske, 30, of South Burlington, Vt.; and Wilbert Taylor, 27, of Brooklyn, each were charged with felony third-degree drug possession, Greenburgh police Lt. Brian Ryan said Wednesday.
Members of the town's Drug and Alcohol Task Force were on a surveillance patrol on another matter about 3 p.m. Tuesday in a gas station parking lot on South Central Park Avenue near the Yonkers city line, police said. A 2004 gray Ford Taurus with Vermont plates pulled into the lot with two men and a woman inside.
Officers saw Keyser get out of the car and walk into a bathroom, police said. She came back out a few minutes later and walked toward the Taurus with a hypodermic syringe sticking out of the top of her front pants pocket, police said.
She got in and the car pulled out into northbound South Central Park Avenue, police said. Officers followed as the Taurus went on the northbound Sprain Brook and tracked the suspicious vehicle in a "moving surveillance" for several miles up the parkway, Ryan said, before pulling it over when Muske, the driver, made an unsafe lane change.
"The officers wanted to make sure they weren't planning to commit a crime in the Town of Greenburgh," Ryan said, citing some recent burglaries in the town. "Eventually, the officers decided to stop the car based on the moving violation and the suspicious activity at the gas station."
Police found three hypodermic needles on the car floor, Ryan said. They questioned the three and then found 980 envelopes of heroin in the trunk. The street value was between $20,000 and $25,000, police said.
The three showed no sign of drug impairment, Ryan said, and have not been involved in any previous criminal activity in Greenburgh.
Police believe the three may have intended to sell the heroin in Vermont or another location up north. "It's cheaper to buy it down here and resell it," Ryan said. "What's worth $20,000 down here might be worth $30,000 or $40,000 up north. It gets more expensive as you get farther away from the distribution point, if you want to use that term."
The three were arraigned Tuesday evening before Greenburgh Town Justice Walter Rivera and sent to the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla, Keyser and Muske in lieu of $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond, Taylor without bail. They are due back in town court at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
No further charges are expected in the case, Ryan said.
Attorney information for the three defendants was not available Wednesday.