Press-Republican

Police, Fire, Courts

March 21, 2014

Police: Drug bust nets dealer, 17 bags of heroin

PLATTSBURGH — A tip about heroin sales negotiated from a City of Plattsburgh apartment led to the arrest of Cornelius D. Weston on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Utica man was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony.

The tip came on Tuesday, and investigation by Plattsburgh City Police detectives led to an apartment house at 113 Cornelia St., Apartment B.

‘QUICK TURNAROUND’

“These type of arrests get started right from a traffic stop,” Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot said on Wednesday.

“Within 24 hours, we were kicking the door in,” said City Police Lt. Pat Rascoe, who oversees the department’s Narcotics Unit.

City Court Judge Mark Rogers had issued a search warrant at about 4:30 p.m.

A stretch of Cornelia Street near Montcalm Avenue was shut down for about 20 minutes as police collected evidence.

“The canine helps a lot with that,” Rascoe said, referring to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol K-9 unit that assisted detectives.

‘DRUGS, CASH SEIZED’

Police seized 17 bags of heroin containing a total 1.7 grams of the opiate, Rascoe said, along with $500 in cash.

The heroin is worth about $510 at street value, he said.

“Thirty dollars (a bag) is the high end,” Rascoe said. “We’ve seen it as cheap at $5 to $10, which means there’s a lot of it.”

‘GAVE FALSE NAME’

When interviewed by detectives after his arrest, Weston at first told them his name was Cory Lumpkin and he was from Syracuse, Rascoe said.

Police said they do not yet know whether he came to Plattsburgh just to sell drugs, but Rascoe said they hadn’t found any other reason for him to be here.

Weston was arraigned in City Court on Thursday morning and was sent to Clinton County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

He remained in jail Thursday and is scheduled to reappear in Plattsburgh City Court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 25.

‘CONTINUOUS PROBLEM’

Helping with the investigation were members of the Adirondack Drug Task Force, a multi-agency organization.

Racicot said his department works with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department and State Police to combat drug sale and addiction in the area.

“We work hand in hand,” he said. “We’re constantly coming up with ideas about how to attack this problem.”

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg

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