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 Monday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2013. There are 22 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: All last week were favored with the most delightful Indian summer weather. The mercury ranged from 40 to 65 degrees and the ice is entirely gone out of the river. 1888 — 125 years ago: W.D. Reimers was given charge of the Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann mill in Davenport. 1913 — 100 years ago: Eight hundred or more tons of earth in six landslides, covered 38th Street for a distance of 200 feet near 7th Avenue and destroyed much property. 1938 — 75 years ago: Patrolman Joseph H. Schnelder, of Moline, has been awarded four medals for proficiency in marksmanship. He is the crack pistol shot of the Rock Island district. 1963 — 50 years ago: For the 83rd year, George Frederic Handel's "Messiah" was performed at Augustana College ushering in the spiritual aspect of the Christmas season. 1988 — 25 years ago: A water main break Thursday night, the fourth this week, affected 35 homes near the 2200 block of 39th Street, Rock Island, city officials said today.