CAMBRIDGE -- There is probable cause to hold two New York men on cannabis-related charges, Judge Ted Hamer ruled after a preliminary hearing in Henry County Circuit Court Monday afternoon.
Alexander Luciano, 30, of Watervliet and Mark Laurange, 32, of Poughkeepsie, were arrested near Annawan on March 10.
State Trooper Andrew Scott testified he pulled over the men for having an obstructed windshield. He explained the windshield was obstructed by GPS equipment which was sitting on a tripod on the dashboard. He said both men provided New York driver's licenses, and the vehicle had been rented by Mr. Laurange.
According to the trooper, the men said they flew out to Denver for the weekend, but their return flight was canceled, so they rented the vehicle to drive home. He said it didn't make sense to him they would pay $703 for the rental vehicle on top of the round-trip flight of the airline tickets and drive 1,600 miles, and the two gave conflicting stories about their activities while they were in Colorado, although they said they were together the whole time.
According to the trooper, when he asked for permission to search the vehicle, Mr. Laurange responded with an expletive and asked why the trooper didn't just lock him up. The trooper said he mentioned a drug dog was on its way and Mr. Laurange agreed to the search.
The dog alerted on the driver side back passenger door, and troopers found 2 pounds of suspected cannabis in the spare tire well in the trunk.
Both are out of jail on $5,000 bail. Their next pretrial hearing was set for May 16.
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.