Springs Men Charged as Cocaine Dealers

Juan P. Porras, also known as Eduardo Garcia, and Jose Jaime Restrepo-Perez of Springs were charged last week by East Hampton Town police with selling large amounts of cocaine. T.E. McMorrow

East Hampton Town police have accused two Springs men of running a cocaine distribution ring. The two, who were arrested on July 15, face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Juan P. Porras, 48, and Jose Jaime Restrepo-Perez, 41, were arrested following a traffic stop on Route 114. According to police, Mr. Porras, the driver, was in possession of six ounces of cocaine. He and Mr. Restrepo-Perez were charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Bail was set last Thursday for Mr. Porras, who is also known as Eduardo Garcia, according to the Suffolk County sheriff’s office, at $500,000. Mr. Restrepo-Perez was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Both men had been targets of an ongoing investigation being conducted jointly by the town police and the East End Drug Task Force. As a result of that investigation, they have also been charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, specifically two or more ounces at a time. That charge is a felony that carries a minimum of 15 years in state prison.

Police say Mr. Porras made three sales of cocaine over a two-month period, with each sale being of greater weight than that preceding it. He was represented at his arraignment last Thursday in East Hampton Town Justice Court by Brian Francese of the Legal Aid Society, who entered a denial to the multiple felony charges. In setting Mr. Porras’s high bail, Justice Steven Tekulsky noted that he has at least one previous felony conviction.

Mr. Restrepo-Perez has one prior conviction, at the misdemeanor level. The court has appointed a lawyer for him, Carl Irace, since under the law he cannot be represented by his co-defendant’s lawyer.

Mr. Irace said Tuesday that he anticipated a grand jury indictment of his client in the coming days. “We look forward to presenting our defense against these very serious charges,” he said Tuesday.

Both men have been unable to post bail and are being held in the county jail in Riverside.

There were two other arrests this week on felony drug possession charges. Frederic Stephens Jr., 23, of East Hampton was arrested Sunday night in Amagansett and charged with possession of methamphetamine, or Ecstasy, and with resisting arrest. According to town police, he told the arresting officer that “there’s Molly in my pocket. I was going to pop them before going into the bar.”

When told he was being placed under arrest, Mr. Stephens allegedly took off running, with two officers in pursuit. “Police. Stop running,” they yelled, but he kept going. Ultimately a Taser had to be used to subdue him.

At his arraignment Monday morning, Justice Lisa R. Rana set bail at $25,000, citing Mr. Stephens’s long history of arrests. It had not been posted as of press time, and Mr. Stephens remained in the county jail.

Also charged with felony possession of drugs was Madison B. Meyer, 26, of Summit, N.J., who was arrested in downtown Montauk early Saturday morning. Police said she had two plastic bags containing cocaine in her purse, with a total weight of over an eighth of an ounce.

“It isn’t even all mine,” she is said to have told the arresting officer. Bail was set later that morning at $750, which was posted.

Another drug-related arrest in downtown Montauk late Saturday, this one at the misdemeanor level, was that of Lloyd A. Davis, 25, of Hempstead, who, according to police, had Alprazolam, a controlled drug, in his possession. He was released from custody the next morning after posting $500 bail, with a future date on the Justice Court criminal calendar.