GENESEO — Two Cattaraugus County residents from Olean were arrested on felony drug charges after a traffic stop, Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty said Tuesday.

On Nov. 18, Deputy Jerry Pilkenton was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative when he stopped a vehicle on Interstate 390 for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.

The operator of the vehicle was identified as James G. Link, 39, of Olean, and a passenger in the vehicle was identified as Brandi L. Pascucci, 36, also from Olean. The Deputy Sheriff suspected that the occupants of the vehicle were involved in drug activity and conducted a roadside drug investigation.

Deputies said the roadside investigation revealed that Link and Pascucci were in possession of approximately 4.31 grams of heroin and approximately 2.98 grams of cocaine. The heroin and cocaine were packaged in individual bags and vials. Pascucci was also found to be in possession of five hypodermic needles and it is alleged that she attempted to hide them from the Deputy Sheriff during the investigation to prevent them from being discovered.

Link was arrested and charged with two counts of felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree (intent to sell).

Pascucci was arrested and charged with two counts of felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree (intent to sell), felony Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument.

Link and Pascucci 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 Link be held on $2,000 cash bail or $4,000 bond and it was advised that Pascucci should be held without the chance of bail due to having multiple prior felony convictions.

Link and Pascucci were later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Town of Groveland Justice Jenean Love. The Judge did remand Link to the custody of the Sheriff on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond and Pascucci was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff without the chance of bail.

Deputy Matthew Thomas and Deputy Morganne Harrington assisted 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. "The above case is a good example where a judge will not be able to hold the defendant(s) on bail and instead will be required to release them per the new law. Catch and release will be the new normal in New York State.”