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 Sunday, March 9, the 68th day of 2014. There are 297 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done to sidewalks, shade trees, fences and gardens by hogs that are running at large about town. 1889 -- 125 years ago: H.C. Cleveland was elected air knight captain of Rock Island Division Uniform Rank Knights of Pythias. 1914 -- 100 years ago: B.W. Wilson, authority on birds and their habits, spoke at the weekly luncheon at the Rock Island Club. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The famous Dionne quintuplets have been invited to visit King George and Queen Elizabeth in Toronto on May 22, but Papa Dionne thinks their majesties should include the Callander nursery in their tour. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Ever been smothered by funny stuff? Well more than 2,600 people were last night when two boys named Tom and Dick Smothers took a "rocky, twisting road to folk music" in Davenport Masonic Temple. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Moline residents soon may be asked to recycle part of their garbage and might even get paid for it.