Press-Republican

Local News

July 7, 2011

Ex-NHL enforcer surrenders

— Turns self in at border after release from Canadian jail

MALONE — A former National Hockey League player is in Franklin County Jail again, charged with violating probation on a conspiracy conviction from nine years ago.

Patrick Cote, 36, of Blairville, Quebec, who played left wing for the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars, walked up to the U.S. Port of Entry in Champlain and turned himself in to authorities, said Malone Village Police Chief Chris Premo.

"He'd been serving two years in jail in Canada on an assault charge," the chief said. "He had just gotten out of jail over there.

"He was dropped off at the border by a taxi and walked up the bus lane. When an officer approached him, he said there was a warrant for him in New York and that he wanted to get it taken care of."

Premo was the officer who fingerprinted Cote during his original arrest in 2002 and said the man he spoke with on Tuesday "was very decent. His attitude was a lot different than the last time.

"I thought I'd never see him again," Premo said.

2002 ARREST

Cote was wanted on an outstanding warrant issued in 2004 by County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr.

Cote is reportedly in violation of the terms of his probation, stemming from his arrest on May 17, 2002, when he was stopped in the Village of Malone for speeding on Main Street at 3:17 a.m.

Police grew suspicious when Cote gave conflicting accounts of where he was going and where he had been that night.

Officers with the U.S. Border Patrol were called in with a canine unit, which found 30 pounds of marijuana stowed in the car's trunk. Its estimated street value at the time was $125,000.

Cote was originally charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana; speeding, for going 65 in a 30-mph zone; and failure to comply, for trying to elude a Village Police patrol car.

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