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LaMora admits possessing 4 ounces of marijuana in Massena


POTSDAM - A Potsdam man charged with having 4 ounces of marijuana in his vehicle when he was stopped by police has been placed on probation for three years.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson also ordered Andrew C. Lamora, 25, of 54 Elm St., Potsdam, previously listing a Cape Vincent address, to pay a $205 surcharge for his convictions for fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and attempted tampering with evidence stemming from an incident on April 29.

Court documents indicated Lamora had been contacted by a friend with $600 seeking a quarter pound of marijuana. He said he contacted a friend in Massena and was able to complete an order. The Massena friend reportedly purchased the marijuana and placed it in Lamora’s backpack, which was behind the passenger’s seat in the vehicle he had borrowed from another friend to drive to Massena.

“While driving up East Orvis Street, I noticed that the vehicle was starting to have issues. The lights were flickering and then eventually went out,” he recalled in his statement to police.

His vehicle was stopped by police on Willow Street, and a village police officer reportedly smelled marijuana during the traffic stop, and a canine unit alerted on the vehicle’s passenger side door and then the backpack when he was allowed inside the vehicle.

“I then told him that there should be 4 ounces of marijuana still in the bag. I further told him that the money that was there with the oxy pill was intended to purchase more marijuana in the near future,” he said in the statement.

Lamora also admitted he had taken advantage of computer issues at the police station on the day of his arrest to steal the oxy bill from an evidence bag when he was still in custody.

“When the officer went to make a copy of the appearance ticket and speak to his supervisor about (me) coming back in for processing at a later date, I took that opportunity to reach in the evidence bag and steal the oxy pill that was in there,” he noted.

Lamora told police he took the plastic bag containing the pill from the evidence bag, placed it in his coat pocket and took it home with him when he was released from custody. He said he snorted the pill the next morning.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Andrew R. Lamendola, 48, of Greenville, N.C., was fined $500 and a $260 surcharge for a driving while ability impaired conviction. He had been charged with driving while intoxicated following a property damage accident at 4:37 p.m. Nov. 29 on Main Street. He reportedly backed into another vehicle near the U.S. Post Office. He was also charged with refusal to take a breath test and ticketed for unsafe backing.

■ Michael A. Gonyou, 39, of 127 Carey Road, Massena, was fined $500 and a $260 surcharge conviction and an additional $25 and an $85 surcharge for an unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle conviction.

Gonyou had been charged with driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop at 5:29 p.m. Dec. 3, 2011 on East Orvis Street. Gonyou’s blood alcohol count was 0.12 percent, village police said. Police had pulled over Gonyou as a result of a a fight complaint the department had received. Police had also cited Gonyou for an open container violation, unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal position of a controlled substance and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

■ Max R. Brewer, 21, of 59 Maple St., Apt. 1A, Massena, pleaded guilty to a driving while intoxicated count. The court directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for April 19.

Village police had charged Brewer with aggravated driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to keep right and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle following a property damage accident at 2:56 a.m. Jan. 21 on Pine Street.

Police said Brewer struck a utility pole in front of 5 Pine St. and then fled the scene on foot. He was apprehended by police on Maple Street. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.18 percent, the threshold for an aggravated DWI charge in New York state.

■ Kristin R. Miller, 27, of Raymondville was fined $200 and an $85 surcharge for a third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle conviction. She was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge and was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service in a plea bargain agreement that also satisfied a seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance charge.

■ Stephen G. Olmstead, 31, of 149 Franklin Road, Waddington, was fined $200 and an $85 surcharge, which was reduced to civil judgment, for a third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle conviction. He was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he is serving an unrelated sentence. He told the court he is scheduled to be released from custody in March.

■ Jason Woodard, 26, of 805 state Route 11C, Brasher Falls, had an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge dismissed. St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Andrew T. Botts said the alleged victim, Annette Dennis, had asked to have the charges dismissed.

He reportedly borrowed a vehicle from Ms. Dennis at 6 a.m. Jan. 6 and had permission to keep the vehicle until 6:30 p.m. that night. Woodard failed to return the vehicle Sunday, police said.

“He kept it longer because there was a malfunction with the vehicle, which he fixed,” St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison B. Appleby told the court.

He was sent back to the county correctional facility, where he is being held on a parole hold.

■ Nathan A. Thrana Jr., 16, of 227 Main St., Massena, was fined $50 for violating a village ordinance banning snowmobile use on public lands in the village. He was stopped on a snowmobile at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 5 on Bowers Street.

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