MALONE — A light snow fell as police officers stood outside 2939 Route 11B in Malone waiting for a suspected drug dealer to surrender himself shortly after 8 a.m. Friday.
There was a chair blocking the door to Howard P. Petell’s apartment, preventing officers from getting a good look inside.
“If he’s knows he’s getting arrested, he’s usually running,” Malone Village Police Officer Michael Crawford said, adding Village Police had taken him into custody multiple times.
The arrest warrant was executed under the guise of a sex-offender check.
Petell, 23, was convicted of sexual misconduct in 2003 for having forced sexual contact with a 18-year-old male, according to the New York State Sex Offender Registry.
A Malone Police officer stood just outside the door to the upstairs apartment, while a U.S. Border Patrol officer and a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy were on the ground, surrounding the multi-unit house. State Police Trooper Ismael Ramos stood by with his canine, Rob.
Crawford said police couldn’t enter the house to retrieve Petell because they didn’t have a search warrant, only an arrest warrant.
After more than 20 minutes, Petell came to the door in white shorts and a hoodie. He told officers he had been sleeping and hadn’t heard them knocking, Crawford said.
Police handcuffed him without incident and charged him with four felonies related to drug possession and sale.
The charges involve oxycodone and Lyrica, a prescription drug that helps manage pain caused by diseases like diabetes, shingles and fibromyalgia.
Petell was brought back to the Malone Village Police Department for fingerprinting and processing before his arraignment in Malone Village Court.
Representatives from multiple law enforcement agencies had gathered at the station at 7:30 a.m., breaking up into four teams to make nine drug arrests.