Drug bust results in 15 arrests in the Twin Tiers

Local News

15 individuals from the Twin Tiers were arrested, over the course of five months, ending Tuesday as the result of a five-month investigation conducted by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) into the unlawful purchase of precursors used in the production of methamphetamine.

All of the defendants with one exception, were charged with Falsifying Business Records, 1st degree, a class “E” felony.  It is alleged that the defendants, while purchasing products containing pseudoephedrine and/or related products, caused false entries to be made in the respective pharmacy records, and falsely attested that they have not exceeded the federal purchasing guidelines.  These false entries were made with intent to commit and/or conceal the crime of Unlawful Manufacturing Methamphetamine and/or to circumvent federal guidelines.   

The investigation centered on the purchase of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient found in Claritin, Sudafed, and other similar products.  The purchase of these products is strictly regulated by federal guidelines by both amount and frequency.  Federal law limits the purchase of products containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to no more than 3.6 grams per day, and no more than 9 grams in a 30-day period.  

The investigation identified the following individuals who actively purchased and attempted to purchase these precursors from several regional pharmacies, and then either used the product to manufacture methamphetamine, or traded the product to known methamphetamine “cooks”, a practice referred to as “smurfing”.  

  • Michelle L. Croft; age 35; #765 Carriage Dr., Lindley, N.Y.
  • Daniel R. Gillespie; age 40; #4445 St. Rt. #417, Jasper, N.Y.
  • John L. Landsborough; age 51; #109 Howell St., Bath, N.Y.
  • William S. Landsborough; age 33; #38 Ash St., Bath, N.Y.
  • Joyce A. Lafave; age 50; #135 Water St., Bath, N.Y.
  • Cody R. Shoemaker; age 29; #2619 Goff Rd., Corning, N.Y. (charged with Criminal Possession of Methamphetamine Manufacturing Materials, 2nd)
  • Jeremy I. Comfort; age 31; #10641 Pinewood Ave., Corning, N.Y.
  • Melissa J. Sherman; age 37; #150 Ct. Rt. #115, Lindley, N.Y.
  • Megan M. Preston; age 25, #69 Willow Dr., Painted Post, N.Y.
  • Kerstyn M. Buck; age 20; #238 Scenic View Dr., Tioga, Pa.
  • Kristina L. Jolley; age 48; #155 Victory Highway, Painted Post, N.Y.
  • Patrick M. Rafferty; age 26; #144 Front St., Addison, N.Y.
  • William J. Trenchard; age 37; #6948 Rumsey St. Ext., Bath, N.Y.
  • Chastity A. Stark; age 42; #54 W. Steuben St., Bath, N.Y. 
  • Jessica A. Austin; age 34; Holland-American Hotel; Bath, N.Y.

Each defendant was arraigned in local criminal court, pending Steuben County Grand Jury action.

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