GENESEO — Two Allegany County natives were arrested Wednesday on drug related charges after a traffic stop, Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reported Thursday.
On Wednesday, Deputy Jerry Pilkenton was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative when he stopped a vehicle on Lakeville Road after observing a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law on Interstate 390.
The operator of the vehicle was identified as Travis E. Murray, 40, of Wellsville, and a passenger was identified as McKenzie J. Barnes, 21, of Scio. The Deputy Sheriff suspected that the occupants of the vehicle were involved in drug activity and that Murray was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs.
Deputy Matthew Thomas, who is assigned to the Sheriff’s Office STOP DWI Unit, responded to the scene to conduct a DWAI drugs investigation which included the performance of standardized field sobriety tests. At the conclusion of the roadside investigation, Murray was taken into custody for DWAI.
The investigating Deputies also found that Murray and Barnes were allegedly in possession of 40 bags of heroin. They also allegedly possessed cocaine.
Murray was transported to the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in Geneseo where Deputy Jeff Faugh, who is a Certified Drug Recognition Expert, conducted an evaluation on Murray. It was the Deputy Sheriff’s expert opinion that Murray was under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant, a narcotic analgesic, and cannabis and that he could not operate a vehicle in a safe manner. Murray also provided a urine sample which will be sent to the lab for analysis.
Murray was arrested and charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree (intent to sell), and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the seventh degree.
Barnes was arrested and charged with felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree (intent to sell) and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the seventh degree. It is further alleged that Barnes attempted to conceal some of the drugs on her person during the investigation in an attempt to avoid detection from the investigating Deputy Sheriffs. Barnes was additionally charged with the felony of Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Murray and Barnes 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 bail due to the felony level charges. It was recommended that both Murray and Barnes be held on $3,000 cash bail or $6,000 bond.
Murray and Barnes were later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Town of North Dansville Justice David Werth. The Judge did remand Murray to the custody of the Sheriff on the recommended bail of $3,000 cash or $6,000 bond. Barnes was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff on $1,500 cash bail or $3,000 bond.
Deputy Shawn Whitford and Deputy Michael Phillips assisted on scene with the investigation.
"Starting Jan. 1, 2020, many different level crimes are not allowable for the suspect to be held on bail," stated Sheriff Dougherty. "I am adamantly opposed to this extreme change in bail and taking away an elected Judges discretion to set bail or not, and ultimately the dangers it will cause for public safety."