NORWICH – Two weeks ago, a state trooper pulled over Utica man for not having a proper inspection sticker on his SUV and after impounding the vehicle, police were surprised to discover more than $7,000 worth of packaged cocaine and heroin hidden inside.
The driver of the Blue 1997 Ford Explorer, 31-year-old Ebae M. Shambley of Utica, was charged with two counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, and remanded to the Chenango County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 cash bail on May 10.
State Police Lt. Patrick Garey leads the Southern Tier Community Narcotic Enforcement Team (C-NET) that investigates major drug activity in a 10-county area, including all of Troop C and some parts of Troop E.
“An officer on routine patrol stopped the suspect’s vehicle after it failed to display an inspection sticker, it was then discovered that the individual was operating the vehicle with a suspended license,” he said.
Trooper Thomas Becker, stationed at the Norwich, pulled Shambley over as he was heading northbound on State Highway 12 on Mother’s Day, and began searching the vehicle after taking the suspect into custody.
“The trooper then seized the vehicle and in the course of taking an inventory of the contents, a routine procedure for all seized vehicles that ensures all seized property is later returned, they found a bag containing approximately one and a half ounces (45 grams) of crack cocaine,” said Garey.