Area police

Sinclairville man pleads guilty to conspiracy charge

A Sinclairville man has pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge.

Tracy Griffin, 38, entered the plea to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Griffin and a co-defendant, Brandon Blackshear, allegedly conspired to sell acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl and crack cocaine in January 2019. In addition, members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force conducted controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Griffin and Blackshear on Jan. 2 and Jan. 22, 2019.

Charges remain pending against Brandon Blackshear.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Southern Regional Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Sentencing for Griffin is scheduled for Oct, 29, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Mayville man charged after scuffle with police

LAKEWOOD — A Mayville man upset he was told to put on a face mask at a Lakewood bank led to an argument with employees, a fight with officers and ultimately charges.

Lakewood-Busti police were called to Key Bank around 1:40 p.m. on Wednesday for a report of a disorderly person. Once on scene, officers observed Gerald H. Hewes Jr. reportedly holding a bank employee up against a glass cubicle.

Hewes was taken into custody, but not before fighting with officers and allegedly resisting arrest.

“Once Gerald was taken into custody, it was learned that the incident started when Gerald entered the bank without wearing a face mask,” Lakewood-Busti police said in a news release Friday morning. “Due to the COVID-19 regulations, the bank employees advised Gerald that he would need to put a face mask on or leave the building. This led to Gerald screaming obscenities at the bank employees and becoming physically disorderly with them.”

Hewes was released with tickets to appear in Busti Town Court on charges of obstructing governmental administration, second-degree harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.


¯ Garrett L. Lindahl, 20, of Falconer, was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Deputies and Ellicott police responded July 14 at 12:57 a.m. to a crash on North Main Street Ext. An investigation found that Lindahl was operating the vehicle while intoxicated. He is scheduled to appear in Ellicott Town Court later.

¯ PORTLAND — Daniel Vargas, 44, of Brocton, was taken into custody following a warrant check at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday at a Route 5 residence in the town of Portland. Vargas, who was wanted on a charge of first-degree criminal contempt, was transported to Chautauqua County Jail and is scheduled to answer the charge at a later date.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office

≤ NORTH HARMONY — On July 22, Heather A Felton, 47, of Jamestown was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated per se, operating while registration suspended or revoked, improper or unsafe turn without signal, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

At around 10 p.m., the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop in the Town of North Harmony for an observed traffic violation. Investigation found that Felton was allegedly intoxicated. She was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance.

Felton was charged and released with appearance tickets and is scheduled to appear in the Town of North Harmony Court at a later date.


¯ Andrew C. Harris, 23, of Westfield, was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operator, insufficient tail lamps, unregistered trailer and improper plates. Officers stopped a vehicle towing a trailer at 1 a.m. on Saturday in the area of 21 Union St. for a traffic violation. It was determined that Harris was driving on a suspended license and that the trailer being towed was not registered and had switched plates. Harris was released with tickets to appear in Westfield Village Court later.

¯ Neale P. Brown, 28, of Westfield, was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Police observed a traffic violation at 2:20 a.m. on Saturday on East Main Street. It was learned that Brown was operating the vehicle with a suspended license. He is scheduled to appear in Westfield Village Court later.

¯ Deirdre E. Woodward, 59, of Westfield, was charged with refusal to take breath test, driving while intoxicated, moving from lane unsafely, DWI per se, failure to keep right and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Officers responded at 7:47 p.m. on July 11 to a crash on Main Street in the town of Westfield. The vehicle was located parked along the road, and found that Woodward was intoxicated. Woodward was released with tickets to appear in Westfield Town Court later.


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