GENESEO — Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of two individuals on numerous drug related charges after an eventful traffic stop on Interstate 390.
On June 25, Deputy Shawn Whitford was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative when he stopped a vehicle coming off Interstate 390 at Exit 10 for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The Deputy Sheriff identified the driver of the vehicle as 42-year-old Gary L. Chatman from Rochester, NY and a passenger in the vehicle as 39-year-old Stella M. Ashley from York, NY. The Deputy Sheriff suspected that the two were involved in drug activity and conducted a roadside drug investigation and also requested an additional Deputy Sheriff to the scene to assist with the investigation. Deputy Michael Philips arrived on scene to assist.
The roadside investigation revealed that the passenger in the vehicle, Stella Ashley, was in possession of five bags of fentanyl, two crack cocaine rocks, Adderall pills, and four hypodermic needles.
Ashley was arrested and taken into custody for three counts of seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument.
The initial investigation allegedly revealed that the driver, Gary Chatman, was in possession of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, and a spring loaded knife (switchblade). When the Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to take Chatman into custody on the charges, he initiated a struggle with the Deputies and fled on foot. After a foot pursuit and taser deployment, Chatman was taken into custody. It was then found that Chatman was also in possession of Oxycodone pills and approximately 70 grams (nearly two and half ounces) of cocaine, which included 23 bags of crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
Chatman was arrested and charged with two counts of felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree (one count for the weight of drugs and one count for intent to sell), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the seventh degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the third degree, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, and Resisting Arrest.
Both Ashley and Chatman 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 in regards to Chatman’s bail due to the felony level charges. It was recommended that Chatman be held on $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond.
Ashley and Chatman were later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part at the Livingston County Jail before Town of Mount Morris Justice David Provo. The Judge did remand Ashley to the custody of the Sheriff on $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond. Chatman was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.
Assisting with the investigation from the Sheriff’s Office were Sergeant James Merrick, Sergeant Joe Zambito, Deputy Connor Sanford, and Deputy Caleb Cutting with his K-9 partner Kai. Assisting from the Avon Police Department was Officer Travis Mcfadden.