A Maine state trooper responding to a three-car crash on icy Interstate 95 Sunday afternoon appears to have foiled a heroin sales operation linking Massachusetts and the Bangor area.

Trooper Scott Duff said that during a search of one of the cars he found 40 grams of heroin packaged in 10-gram fingers, along with a small amount of marijuana and $1,000 in cash.

Duff said he was called to the Pittsfield area of the northbound lanes of the interstate Sunday for one of several weather-related accidents. One of the vehicles involved in the accident was a car with New Hampshire license plates and three men inside, he said.

“When I made contact with them I could smell the odor of marijuana inside,” Duff said by phone Monday. “I continued on with the crash, talked to the other people involved and finished my crash report, but as a result of smelling the marijuana, searched the vehicle and searched the passengers and driver.”

He said the smell of the marijuana and the subsequent discovery of a small amount of the weed gave him probable cause for the search. He said the men are from Lawrence, Mass.

Duff arrested James Aponte, 23, on whose person the heroin was found. He was charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs.

Duff said the trafficking charge is aggravated because of the estimated weight of the drugs packed in manufactured cylinders for transport and ultimately processed for sale. In order to be aggravated, the amount of the drug has to exceed six grams, Duff said.

“My presumptive weight was seven times what that requires to make it aggravated,” he said. “He had the heroin under his clothing.”

At $200 to $250 per gram, the seized heroin could be valued at about $10,000 before it is mixed with other substances, or cut, to double or even triple the amount. He said the drugs were destined for the Bangor area, but would not specify which town or exactly where.

“They buy it in Massachusetts very cheap and bring it to Maine where it could be broken up into three, four, five times the amount,” Duff said. “Those four fingers of heroin would be most likely mixed with a cutting agent to make it look like more and sold so it becomes weaker and weaker each time it is resold. Instead of having 40 grams they may have 80 grams.”

Bail was set for Aponte at the Somerset County Jail at $20,000 cash. Aponte has not yet gone to court because it was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday. The other two men in the car were not charged.

Duff said the investigation will continue, using information taken with search warrants from Aponte’s cell phone for possible additional charges and more arrests.