Two charged with drug offenses following Ogdensburg search
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 5:38 pm

OGDENSBURG – Two people at a Ford Street residence were charged with drug offenses following execution of a search warrant by Ogdensburg Police Wednesday night.

Members of the department’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit and St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force executed the warrant at 1130 Ford St. at 7 p.m. as part of an investigation of alleged illegal dug sales from the residence.

A search of the residence led to some marihuana, a variety of illegally possessed prescription narcotics, some untaxed cigarettes, drug paraphernalia, a small amount of United States currency, and an illegally possessed weapon, a metal throwing star, according to Ogdensburg Police Detective Daniel Mousaw.

Owner and resident of the house, Michael J. Wells Jr., 38, was charged with several Class A misdemeanors: four counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; fourth degree criminal possession of marijuana; fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon; unlawful possession of untaxed cigarettes; fifth-degree criminal tax fraud; and second-degree criminal nuisance in the second degree.

Also charged was Robert B. VanHorn, 20, of the same address. VanHorn was found to possess a small quantity of marijuana, according to Det. Mousaw. VanHorn was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

Mousaw said Wells has been a subject of investigation for illegal drug and cigarette sales from his home. Over two ounces of pot were found, and several cartons of untaxed cigarettes, he said, which led to the charge of criminal tax fraud.

Based on the number of cigarettes seized, Mousaw calculates that Wells owes thr State of New York $639.45 in excise tax. The criminal nuisance charge stems from the police belief that Wells did “knowingly maintain a residence where persons gather for the purposes of engaging in unlawful conduct.”

A City of Ogdensburg Code Enforcement Officer was also summoned to the residence to handle violations of Ogdensburg City Building Codes. Mousaw said that Wells “had a minimum of eight people living in his residence, converting bedrooms, essentially, into numbered, single room occupancy dwellings, to include his living room, and side rooms. Several unsafe conditions were observed.”

Wells was held overnight and arraigned on Thursday morning in Ogdensburg City Court before Judge William Small, who released Wells to the supervision of the county Probation Department.

VanHorn was processed and released on an appearance ticket, with a later return date to City Court.

The investigation continues, and further arrests may be made.