SALISBURY – Two women, including one who was texting about a drug sale while speaking to a police officer, face fentanyl trafficking charges after they were arrested Tuesday evening near the Crossroads Plaza, according to police. 

Amber Greenhow, 37, of 148 Beach Road, No. 1, Salisbury, was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail, while Courtney Foote, 21, of 53 Bruce Road, Seabrook, was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail at their arraignments Wednesday morning in Newburyport District Court. Because Greenhow was on probation for a previous drug offense at the time of her arrest, Judge Allen Swan ordered her held until her probation status was resolved. 

In addition to fentanyl trafficking, both women were charged with LSD possession. Foote also faces a motor vehicle lights violation charge. 

It was that lights violation that led Salisbury police Sgt. Richard Dellaria to pull Foote over on Elm Street near the Crossroads Plaza just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy explained during her argument for bail. 

According to Kennedy, Foote’s car was completely dark – meaning no headlights or taillights – and caught the attention of Dellaria who was on patrol of the busy street near Interstate 95. 

When Dellaria looked inside the car, he noticed two empty plastic bags in the change compartment which lead him to suspect they had contained drugs. Dellaria’s suspicions were heightened when he recognized a third person in the car as a man he believed to be a drug dealer. 

While Dellaria began speaking to Greenhow, she appeared agitated and fidgety. While they talked, she also received several text messages, including one that read “Can I get a half for 25?” a reference to an amount of drugs and a price, Kennedy said in court. When Dellaria asked her about the texts, Greenhow “actively ignored the police officer and texted right in front of him,” Kennedy said. 

Eventually, two other officers arrived and ordered the three people out of the car. Greenhow continued to be evasive and uncooperative. At one point, she leaned over as if she was trying to conceal something. As it turned out, she had dropped a baggie containing fentanyl on the ground and was trying to hide it, according to Kennedy. 

It didn’t take long for officers to find the baggie. Foote then told police she had fentanyl underneath her clothes. The two women were placed under arrest while the male passenger was released. In all, police seized more than 18 grams of fentanyl total, which prompted the trafficking charges, according to police. 

Both women are due back in court July 12 for pre-trial hearings.

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached by email at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter@drogers41008.