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One felony dismissed from Potsdam drug arrest

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POTSDAM — The traffic stop that led to felony drug arrests Saturday that landed two men in jail without bail was a police setup, officers said in Village Court on Thursday in a preliminary hearing.

Patrols were given the license plate number of a GMC Yukon and told to try to make probable cause to pull the vehicle over, according to Sgt. Michael Ames.

After the vehicle was stopped for an unsafe lane change and not using headlights, Zachary D. Linsky, 19, Norwood, and Lamarion J. Blanks Jr., 18, Brooklyn, were both charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, an A-II felony. They were accused of possessing 250 Ecstasy pills and a small amount of marijuana.

Village Justice Nicholas Pignone dismissed the charge against Mr. Linsky because prosecutors failed to provide testimony during the hearing of how much the ecstasy weighed. In an earlier hearing for Mr. Blanks, prosecutors did provide the weight, about 74 grams.

Following the hearings Mr. Linsky pleaded guilty to misdemeanor seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and Mr. Blanks was sent back to the St. Lawrence County jail to await grand jury action.

Mr. Linsky also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of marijuana. He was released to probation and could be sentenced to up to one year in county jail.

Mr. Ames testified that he had phone conversations with members of the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force before he alerted another officer to find probable cause to stop the vehicle.

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