3 Margaretville residents charged in cocaine case
By Brian Sweeney
Three Margaretville residents were arrested last week on charges stemming from cocaine possession.
Arrested on March 13 by NY State Police on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (with intent to sell) were Victor M. Perez, 57, his wife, Kris Perez, 45, both of 104 Frog Alley Road, Margaretville. The charges are Class “B” felonies. John D. Gilchrist, 53, of 2 Olga Drive, Margaretville was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class “A” misdemeanor.
State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team members, with assistance from troopers at the Margaretville, executed a search warrant at the Perez home at approximately 7:45 p.m. last Wednesday and arrested the occupants on cocaine possession charges.
A search of the premises turned up 46 packets of cocaine. Police said the substance was packaged for sale and other packaging materials were found in the home. The street value of the cocaine was estimated at $2,300. Police also confiscated a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition during the search.
Police said that Mr. Gilchrist was located in the driveway of the residence when the search warrant was executed and was also found to be in possession of cocaine.
The Perezes were arraigned before Middletown Town Justice Gary Rosa and remanded to Delaware County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Mr. Gilchrist was released on an appearance ticket and ordered to appear in the Town of Middletown Court on March 28.
State police said the arrests were the culmination of a three-month investigation.
The Margaretville arrests are among a growing number of such incidents occurring locally. Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills issued a statement last week in response to criticism his office has received for publicizing drug-related cases.
“Delaware County is experiencing a significant surge in illegal drug activity,” Sheriff Mills wrote. “I have been cautioned by a few individuals that the recent press releases this office has been issuing concerning drug activity may create some adverse publicity.”
The sheriff continued, “Still, we have received an overwhelming number of calls from individual constituents applauding our efforts to eradicate the drug problem and rid our schools, businesses and communities of the unsavory element that habitually accompanies the use and sale of illegal drugs.”
Sheriff Mills went on to explain that drug dealers from urban areas are increasingly utilizing rural areas as places to conduct business. The result, he said, is that more area residents are also suffering from drug addiction.
The sheriff also pointed to increases in burglaries and larcenies as byproducts of the growing drug issues in the county, as addicts turn to crime to help support their habits. Traffic accidents involving motorists driving under the influence of drugs are also on the rise, he noted.
Sheriff Mills also commented on the importance assisting individuals in overcoming drug addiction to that they can pursue productive lifestyles.
The sheriff urged community members to report potential drug activity to law enforcement to assist with investigations.