Chemung County police chase suspect arrested, previously released on bail reform

Local News

(WETM) – Eric Hess, the driver in a May police chase across Chemung County, has been arrested on drug charges after being released due to the New York bail reform law.

On July 21, 2021, members of the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into controlled
substances found in a hotel room of the Courtyard Marriot located at 202 Colonial Drive in Big Flats. During the investigation members of the Sheriff’s Office located over 200 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of roughly $6,000.00 in the hotel room. Investigators were able to link Hess to that hotel room.

Hess has now been charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a Class A-II Felony, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a Class B Felony, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, a Class D Felony.

Hess was arraigned in Chemung County Court and committed to the Chemung County Jail with bail set at $100,000.00 cash and $200,000.00 property bond.

Back on May 20, 2021, the Sheriff’s Office conducted a detail as part of Operation Take Back the Streets searching for someone with a history of illegal firearm possession, human trafficking, and drugs.

Hess was the driver of a vehicle when deputies conducted a traffic stop on County Route 64 for vehicle and traffic law violations and located a hypodermic syringe in the vehicle. While interviewing the occupants the Hess fled and a short pursuit began, during which two loaded handguns were thrown out of the vehicle. Those weapons were later recovered by police.

In the interest of public safety, the pursuit was stopped and the vehicle involved was located in a wooded area off East Franklin Street in the Town of Horseheads.

On July 18, 2021, Hess was involved in an incident in Smethport, Pennsylvania and remanded to the McKean County Jail located in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Hess was released from McKean County Jail and extradited back to New York State in August where he was again released on the bail reform law.

In connection to the police chase and manhunt, Hess was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in the Third Degree, a Class A Misdemeanor, and Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, a Class A Misdemeanor.

Hess was indicted by a Chemung County Grand Jury in connection to the May incident.

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