Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that a traffic stop made by a deputy sheriff in Philipstown resulted in weapon and drug charges against the driver, who was also wanted in Pennsylvania on a warrant.
At about 1:19 a.m. on March 22nd, Deputy Sheriff Ronald Yeager was patrolling along U.S. Route 9 in Philipstown when he pulled over a car for having an excessively loud muffler. During the course of that stop, the deputy ran a computer check on the driver, Mr. Benjamin Franklin Stine, IV, aged 24, of 43 Forest Street in Hop Bottom, Pennsylvania, which revealed that he was wanted on a bench warrant issued in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania for a probation violation.
The Sheriff’s Office communicated with Susquehanna County authorities, who advised that they would extradite Mr. Stine back to that jurisdiction on the warrant. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Stine was allegedly in possession of a stolen and loaded .32 caliber revolver, an illegal gravity knife, hypodermic needles, and quantities of substances suspected to be crystal methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.
The deputy arrested Mr. Stine and charged him with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a class C felony, and with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a class E felony. He was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, all class A misdemeanors, and with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, and traffic infractions. The top felony gun charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.00 upon conviction.
The defendant was arraigned before Putnam Valley Town Justice Gina Capone, acting on behalf of the Philipstown Justice Court. The judge committed him to the Putnam County Correctional Facility in lieu of $75,000.00 cash bail or $150,000.00 bail bond pending a future appearance in the Philipstown court.