DIXFIELD – A routine traffic stop for not using safety belts Thursday afternoon resulted in the arrest of a Vermont man on aggravated drug furnishing and concealed weapon charges.

Sgt. Jeff Howe said he stopped a vehicle at 1:45 p.m. on Main Street driven by Patrick Southworth, 24, of Vershire, Vt., because he and his passenger, Joshua Magoon, 24, also of Vershire, were not wearing safety belts.

The smell of alcohol led to the subsequent search, which revealed several open beer cans, a 22-magnum revolver lodged between the seats and several marijuana butts in the ashtray. Marijuana seeds and stems were seen scattered on the seat covers.

Howe called in Franklin County Deputy David Rackliffe and his drug-sniffing dog, Odin, to continue the search.

Discovered in the back of the vehicle was a cardboard box with a half-pound of marijuana inside. Howe estimated the value of the drug between $2,000 and $2,500.

In addition to seizing the drug, Howe, with the assistance of Dixfield police Chief Richard Pickett, seized the handgun, bullets and $167 in cash.

Southworth was charged with aggravated furnishing of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a concealed handgun. He was taken to the Oxford County Jail in Paris and later released on $1,500 bail. His vehicle was impounded.

Both men were also summoned for not wearing safety belts.

Southworth is scheduled to appear in Oxford County Superior Court in August.

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