The Pot Charges Pile Up

    A Springs man with multiple recent arrests, including one in March off East Hampton’s Main Beach when he allegedly offered marijuana to Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen while the chief was on a coffee break, was arrested twice last week on separate marijuana possession charges.

    The two arrests followed James P. Fabrizio’s reported attempts to sell marijuana to strangers throughout the village. Both of the arrests occurred near the middle school on Newtown Lane, according to police reports.

    “I don’t know what to say,” Chief Larsen said Monday. “It’s very sad,” he said of the stack of drug and alcohol-related charges Mr. Fabrizio is now facing.

    The first of last week’s arrests occurred on June 3 at about 5 p.m. after an officer reportedly noticed Mr. Fabrizio hitchhiking in front of the Schenck Fuel parking lot, about 30 yards from the middle school. Earlier, police had received several reports, from different locations in the village, that a man matching Mr. Fabrizio’s description was offering drugs for sale to strangers.

    Mr. Fabrizio consented to a search, police said, during which they found in his knapsack “several bags of marijuana along with a bag of cocaine.” After he was arrested, Mr. Fabrizio was taken back to police headquarters, where the drugs were tested and weighed. The marijuana totaled 3.25 ounces, police said.

    Possession of marijuana is normally a violation, but when 2 ounces or more is in possession, the charge becomes a class A misdemeanor. The cocaine possession charge is also a misdemeanor. Mr. Fabrizio was released on $750 bail, which he posted at the station house.

    Four days later, early on Friday afternoon, police received a call from a woman who told them there was a man “in a gray hooded sweatshirt and gray shorts with a black knapsack” who “was asking people about using drugs.”

    An officer found Mr. Fabrizio standing on the street in front of the school and noticed “the odor of marijuana.”

    A search of Mr. Fabrizio’s knapsack turned up a reported 52 grams of marijuana. Though less than the 2-ounce (56-plus gram) trigger point for his first misdemeanor charge of the week, by exceeding 25 grams the marijuana alleged to be in the knapsack still netted Mr. Fabrizio a class B misdemeanor possession charge. Police said Mr. Fabrizio “did not want to contact anyone regarding his arrest,” and he posted the $200 bail set at the station out of his own pocket.

    He is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges over the next several weeks, but is due back in court on June 27 to deal with his older charges, which include an aggravated driving while intoxicated charge from March of last year, a harassment charge from November, and another charge of possession of over 25 grams of marijuana, this one following his encounter with Chief Larsen in March. He is also charged with driving with ability impaired by drugs stemming from that arrest.

    He will be arraigned on the new charges at that court appearance, with all the outstanding cases combined on one docket.