A Montauk driver who was convicted of a felony heroin charge a year ago was arraigned on the same charge in court on Sunday.
East Hampton Town police also accused Jonathan M. Elsis, 26, of possession of heroin and possession of a hypodermic needle, both misdemeanors.
Police stopped his black BMW on Old Montauk Highway by Gurney’s Inn after a tipster called to report an erratic driver. An officer followed the BMW for about a mile, making the stop after it swerved across the road several times.
Mr. Elsis reportedly failed roadside sobriety tests. While he waited in the back of a patrol car, police searched the BMW. They reported finding “a rice box containing white rice” and “20 wax-paper envelopes containing a white, powdery substance, held together by rubber bands and silica.” Officers then went through a “black Christian Dior canvas bag,” and found three hypodermic needles, a spoon, and a vial containing a human urine sample, according to the report. There were also cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol, and Band-Aids.
“BX LEDGEN” was written in black ink on the wax-paper envelopes, police said. At least one envelope reportedly tested positive for heroin. A computer check turned up Mr. Elsis’s conviction for driving with ability impaired by drugs last August.
The BMW was seized by police under a county law covering repeat D.W.I. offenders.
Mr. Elsis was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court in front of Justice Catherine Cahill. Susan Menu, an attorney, stood by the handcuffed defendant.
Justice Cahill examined his rap sheet. “You pled to a D.W.I. drugs misdemeanor and a felony on possession of drugs,” she noted.
In addition to the more serious charges, police said Mr. Elsis’s license had been suspended. If the suspension were connected to the D.W.A.I. conviction, the charge of unlicensed operation would become a felony.
“Eighty-two miles per hour, speeding,” said Justice Cahill. “Probably another reason his license was suspended.” She noted the incidents were all recent. “The suspension is based on the conviction of D.W.I.,” she concluded.
Michael Ross, an assistant county district attorney, had phoned in a request that bail be set at $50,000. Ms. Menu argued that the level was not realistic, stressing Mr. Elsis’s local roots, and pointing out that he had made every court appearance required of him. She further contended that prosecutors look at charges without taking the circumstances of the case into account.
“I beg to differ on the business of setting bail,” the justice responded, but added she was inclined to set the number at $2,500. She asked Mr. Elsis’s father, “So, how much do you have?”
“I have $800 in my pocket,” he answered.
Justice Cahill shook her head no, almost wistfully.
“Two thousand, five hundred,” she said.
Mr. Elsis, unable to post bail, was taken by county sheriff’s officers to jail in Riverhead. He is due back in court today.
Early on the evening of July 30, town police arrested Jason B. Milius, 28, of East Hampton on a felony charge of driving while intoxicated with a child in the car, along with three other charges. Under New York State’s Child Passenger Protection Act, better known as Leandra’s Law, it is a felony to drive drunk with a child age 15 years old or younger in the car. The boy riding with Mr. Milius was said to be 7.
Mr. Milius was seen talking on a hand-held cellphone, said police, who pulled him over on Route 114 near Toilsome Lane in East Hampton. Using a hand-held cellphone while driving is now considered a major traffic violation, a five-point offense.
Police said the driver appeared to be intoxicated, and that he failed roadside sobriety tests. The boy’s mother was called and she picked him up.
As he was being taken to headquarters, police obtained a subpoena to have Mr. Milius’s blood drawn in order to test his alcohol-blood level, a step that is required by Leandra’s Law.
Besides the felony charge, he faces a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child and driving with his license suspended, for failure to respond to a traffic summons.
East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana set bail at $5,000 for Mr. Milius, who was represented by the attorney Edward Burke, Jr. He posted that amount, and is due back in court on Sept. 12, by which time the results of the blood test will be known.
There were only two other drunken-driving arrests made last week, a very low number for the summer season. In both cases, the accused refused to take the stationhouse breath test, meaning that their licenses were automatically suspended. The two charged were Charles D. Stephani of Montauk, 66, and a Weehawken, N.J., man, Isao Yoshimura, 39.
On the morning of July 25, Raymond A. DeSalvo drove his 2001 Cadillac off Springs-Fireplace Road near Abraham’s Path in East Hampton and onto a rock, as was reported last week. He has since been charged with drunken driving.
Ronald A. King, who was arrested on July 27 and charged with felony driving with ability impaired by drugs, was back in court last Thursday, having been held on $10,000 bail in the meantime. The charge was a felony due to a previous conviction on the same charge within the past 10 years.
Mr. King also faces a felony charge of unlicensed driving. He was due to be released if the D.A.’s office could not obtain a grand jury indictment from a within the prescribed 120 hours after arraignment, but at the last minute an indictment was obtained and Mr. King was returned to the county jail.
A woman who described herself to a court officer as “more than his girlfriend” wept throughout the proceedings.