Rutland woman faces drug charges after cocaine found

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BURLINGTON — A Rutland woman was indicted on charges of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute after a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment against her, officials announced.

Maria Alvarez, 43, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Dec. 21 after being arrested the previous day.

Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle ordered her detained pending further proceedings.

The indictment stemmed from a Sept. 26 incident when Rutland police responded to a call about unresponsive individuals in a vehicle.

Alvarez was found in the passenger seat and another person in the driver’s seat, where police spotted what looked like a rock of crack cocaine.

Upon Alvarez’s arrest, police observed her placing a container with several similar rocks in the door.

The substances field-tested positive for crack cocaine.

Authorities then secured the vehicle and obtained a search warrant.

During the search, police discovered three bags in the front passenger footwell, Alvarez’s non-driver’s ID, a key to a lockbox containing over 600 grams of powder cocaine, more than $5,000 in cash, and suspected drug packaging materials.

Two scales were also found in the vehicle.

If convicted, she faces up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine, with the actual sentence to be determined by federal guidelines and statutes.

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