Police: 243 small bags of heroin found in Fall River traffic stop

A Fall River man pleaded not guilty today to charges of trafficking heroin after State Police allegedly discovered 243 small bags of the drug in his possession during a traffic stop Wednesday night.

David Mota, 31, was arraigned in Fall River District Court today on five charges, including drug possession with intent to distribute and operating under the influence of drugs.

He pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. He is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on Mar. 28, a court clerk said.

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A state trooper stopped Mota for driving erratically on Interstate 195 eastbound in Fall River just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Mota was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, and a subsequent search of his Lexus LS400 allegedly uncovered about 24 grams of heroin divided into the small bags.

The arrest comes at a time of rising concern about heroin overdoses and deaths, which officials have called a public health crisis.