RAVENA State Police stopping a driver for violating the “Move Over Law” allegedly discovered a passenger in the car was being paid to transport crack cocaine and heroin.
Around 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, police stopped Michael S. Payne, 23, of Staten Island, driving a 2006 Infiniti G35 northbound on the Thruway in Albany for failing to move over when passing a trooper’s car parked on the shoulder with its emergency lights activated. Police said Payne and his two passengers, Kiara L. Maldonado, 19, of New York City, and Justin B. Blake, 30, of Brooklyn, did not have driver’s licenses.
A cardboard box containing glassine envelopes, which are commonly used to package drugs, was allegedly found on the back seat when police searched the car.
Maldonado was allegedly found in possession of approximately 21.5 grams of crack cocaine and a package containing approximately 60 grams of heroin (more than 2 ounces). Police said further investigation revealed she was being paid by Blake to carry the drugs from New York City to the City of Troy.
Maldonado and Blake were both charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, both felonies. All three people in the car were charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Blake was also charged with criminal impersonation in the second degree, because he allegedly failed to properly identify himself when stopped by police.
All three were processed, arraigned in the Village of Ravena Court and remanded to Albany County jail to be held without bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, July 31, at 10 a.m.