Border Patrol agents and police officers seized around 50 pounds of cannabis in upstate New York final week in a targeted traffic quit close to the Canadian border. Officials estimated the worth of the pot at far more than $100,000, according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Agents assigned to the Massena Border Patrol Station had been on duty in the early morning hours of Wednesday, April three when they pulled more than a red pickup truck in the parking lot of a hotel in Hogansburg, New York. Just after requesting help from other nearby law enforcement agencies, the Border Patrol agents had been joined by officers from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police (SRMTP) and the New York State Police (NYSP).
Just after a canine unit with the SRMTP alerted to the car, the officers found the cannabis hidden in luggage which was stowed in the extended cab of the pickup truck. The law enforcement officers then seized the pot and arrested the driver and lone occupant of the car, Kyle Hemings, age 50, of Central Square, New York. Just after getting taken into custody, Hemings was transported to Massena Border Patrol Station for initial processing by agents. The Border Patrol then transferred custody of Hemings and the confiscated marijuana to troopers with the NYSP. Hemings faces 1st-degree felony charges for criminal possession of marijuana in the case.
Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia credited the cooperation of the area’s law enforcement agencies for the seizure of the cannabis.
“The outstanding law enforcement partnerships in upstate New York are vital to border safety,” Garcia stated. “I would like to thank the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police and the New York State Police for functioning with us to interdict this marijuana smuggling occasion.”
3 Busts in 3 Weeks
Final week’s bust was the third current seizure of big amounts of cannabis by agents with the Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector, which is accountable for securing the land border involving ports of entry in Vermont, New Hampshire, and northeastern New York.
On Saturday, March 23 Border Patrol agents followed a pickup that they thought of suspicious from the highway to a gas station in Ogdensburg, New York. When they approached the car to speak to the driver, they noticed a big duffle bag in the back of the car. When the agents asked the driver, Damian D. Cookhorne, 36, about the bag he stated that he did not know it was there. A Border Patrol canine group indicated that drugs had been in the pickup and agents found 33 pounds of cannabis in the duffel bag. Cookhorne was arrested and has been charged with felony criminal possession of marijuana.
“This is the second considerable seizure of marijuana produced by Ogdensburg Border Patrol agents more than the final 4 days,” stated Swanton Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent William Maddocks. “These two events demonstrate the will need to remain vigilant to quit illegal activity close to our border.”
Just days just before Cookhorne’s arrest, Ashlyn M. Lazare-Cole, 26, was arrested on March 21 right after she was pulled more than by agents though she was driving close to Gouverneur, New York. Canine units also alerted to her car, and agents found 58 pounds of cannabis hidden in garbage bags and a dog meals bag that had been in the trunk of the woman’s vehicle. Felony criminal possession of marijuana charges have also been filed against Lazare-Cole.