MOUNT MORRIS — Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty Friday reported felony level drug charges as two Cattaraugus County residents were arrested after a traffic stop on Interstate 390.
On Feb. 28, Deputy Jerry Pilkenton was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative and stopped a vehicle on the Interstate for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The traffic stop quickly turned to a roadside drug investigation based on the Deputy Sheriffs observations upon meeting with the occupants. Following the roadside investigation, Kayla B. Taylor, 21, from Limestone, was charged with seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (a class A misdemeanor) for allegedly being in possession of concentrated cannabis. Taylor was a passenger in the vehicle.
The operator, Eric W. Newburg, 25, also from Limestone, was charged with second-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana (a class D felony) for allegedly being in possession of two pounds of marijuana, fifth-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class D felony) for possessing a quantity of Concentrated Cannabis, fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class C felony) for possessing nearly an ounce of Ketamine, and Tampering with Physical Evidence (class E felony) for attempting to conceal drugs from the Deputy Sheriff.
Both subjects were turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention. The District Attorney’s Office was contacted due to the felony level charges on Newburg and the DA recommended bail be set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.
Newburg was later arraigned in the Livingston County Central Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) of the Livingston County Jail by Town of Mount Morris Justice David Provo. The Judge did double the recommended bail, remanding Newburg to the custody of the Sheriff on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.
Taylor was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff by the Judge on $150 cash or $300 bond.
Assisting with the investigation were Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Phillips of the STOP DWI Unit, Sheriff’s Sergeant Joseph Zambito of the Patrol Division and Sheriff’s Investigator Michael Williams of the Criminal Investigations Division.
"If folks aren't noticing the drugs that are being removed off the Interstate and around the county, then they aren't paying attention," stated Sheriff Dougherty. "I continue to applaud the incredible work the Deputy Sheriffs and our partners in policing are doing on the Interstate and around the county. Drugs wreck communities and they drive up crime rates especially related to burglaries and behind every burglary is a victim who feels violated. I am proud to report burglaries handled by our Office have dropped over 73 percent in the last five reportable years and that is a direct result of our larger comprehensive plan that includes aggressive drug enforcement. I continue to thank our residents for being part of our team and working with us to further our goal of making Livingston County the safest county."