AVON – Three Allegany County residents are facing drug charges following a traffic stop on Lakeville Road at exit nine of Interstate 390 in which more than 6 ounces of methamphetamine and other drugs, scales and packaging material were found, reports the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Jerry Pilkenton, while assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative, stopped the vehicle about 8:30 p.m. April 20 for an alleged violation of state Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The deputy observed signs of criminal activity during the stop and began a roadside investigation, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The operator of the vehicle was identified as Lionel C. Carter Sr. 65, of Andover. Two passengers in the vehicle were identified as John H. Finch, 31, of Wellsville, and Christy L. Graham, 44, of Belmont.
The investigation revealed that occupants were allegedly in possession of 175.3 grams, or 6.26 ounces, of methamphetamine, 1.2 grams of Fentanyl, seven Alprazolam pills, and multiple scales and drug packaging material, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The investigation also alleged that Graham was in possession of a prohibited weapon, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Carter, Finch and Graham were all charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A-II felony, one of the most serious crimes – it could bring a sentence of life in prison – in the New York Penal Code; third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony; and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Graham was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony, after a records check showed that she had previously been convicted of a crime, which raised the level of possession on the prohibited weapon to be a felony charge.
Carter was also charged with a violations of state Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Finch was found after a records check to be wanted for another crime from another agency.
All three individuals were turned over to Central Booking deputies at Livingston County Jail for processing pre-arraignment detention. The District Attorney’s Office requested that Finch and Carter be remanded to the custody of the Sheriff in lieu of no bail due to each having prior felony convictions. It was requested that Graham be held in lieu of $10,00 cash or credit or $20,000 secured bond.
All three individuals were later arraigned at Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part at Livingston County Jail before Town of York Justice Thomas Porter. Carter and Finch were remanded to the custody of the Sheriff without bail. Bail for Graham was set at $1,500 cash or credit, or $5,000 secured surety bond. Graham later posted bail and was released.
The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office represented all three defendants at their arraignment. The District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear at the arraignment.
Assisting on scene for the Sheriff’s Office were Deputies Justin Hilt, Dylan Bowser, Matthew Cole and Lazlo Babocsi.
Finch had previously been convicted in Allegany County in 2016 on a charge of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class C felony, and sentenced to up to three years in state prison. He was given a conditional release to parole in January 2017, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Information on Carter’s previous convictions were not available from the DOCCS website.