Upstate NY Democrats plagued by cocaine busts

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Upstate NY Democrats plagued by cocaine busts

Upstate Democratic pols have been caught in a snowstorm — of cocaine.

The three northern New York lawmakers were all been busted in the last two years for possession of the drug — and one defiantly remains in office.

They all held office in the sprawling 21st congressional district, which stretches from Saratoga to the Canadian border.

“North Country elected Democrats have a cocaine and crime problem,” upstate GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik, who also serves in the district told The Post.

Tony Arquiett, 56, a St. Lawrence County legislator, was arrested Dec. 5 after a two-car crash on drunken driving and cocaine possession charges, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department said. The crash happened in Akwesasne, part of the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation.

He’s is due in court next month and intends to plead not guilty, his lawyer, Ed Narrow, told The Post, adding that Arquiett will not resign his seat. Arquiett has served in the local legislature since 2010.

Tim Currier
Former police chief Tim Currier was arrested on similar cocaine charges in Dec. 2020.

“It is a disgrace that Arquiett refuses to resign and that fellow elected Democrats are silent,” Stefanik said.

Experts say drugs in northern New York have been a growing problem.

“I run the county jail and I gotta tell you, 60 to 80 percent of the inmates I have, have some sort of a drug issue,” Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill told The Post. “Now that we are getting over the opioid epidemic, cocaine seems to be filling in the gap.”

Tim Currier, then-mayor of Massena, a town nestled along the St. Lawrence River, and a former police chief there, was arrested Dec. 1, 2020, after allegedly leading local lawmen on a car chase through the village. He was spotted by detectives “throwing approximately one gram of crack cocaine out his passenger window,” according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s office.

He was cuffed at gunpoint, video of the arrest shows.

Currier, 56, was charged with drug possession, tampering with evidence and failure to comply with a police officer, the Sheriff’s Office said.

He resigned a month later. In a statement following the arrest, he said, “I made some poor decisions … I cannot express how embarrassed and disappointed [I am] in myself and for my family and friends.”

Clinton County Legislator Simon Conroy was arrested for cocaine possession, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Sept. 2019.
Clinton County Legislator Simon Conroy was arrested for cocaine possession in Sept. 2019.

Currier ultimately pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of failing to obey a police officer and was sentenced to a $150 fine and $93 in court costs in June, local media reported.

A year earlier, in September 2019, Clinton County Legislator Simon Conroy, who reps Plattsburgh, was arrested for cocaine possession, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, the local Press Republican reported.

Conroy, 47, who also has a stalking charge on his rap sheet for allegedly harassing a female friend, was found with the drugs in an incident near Plattsburgh City Hall, according to reports. Local police would not divulge details of the matter.

“I believe the charge was fraudulent and due to a particularly corrupt law enforcement officer,” he defiantly told his colleagues, WAMC reportedHe resigned weeks after his arrest and in May pleaded guilty to misdemeanor speeding and criminal mischief. He was fined $500 fine and sentenced to 180 days in Clinton County Jail.

Conroy hung up the phone when reached by The Post.

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