Originally Posted Online: April 01, 2013, 7:04 pm
Last Updated: April 01, 2013, 8:24 pm

Pretrial set for New York men on cannabis charges

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

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.