Thursday, December 9, 2021

On 20A Routine Traffic Stops No Longer ‘Routine’:
Feds likely to take drug case after ‘routine’ traffic stop nets 13 lbs. of coke

More than ever, traffic stops are never routine. Especially on Route 20A in Wyoming County. That was evident on Nov. 22, when Wyoming County Sheriff’s Sgt. Colin Reagan was on patrol and saw a 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander swerve. He pulled the SUV over and began talking to the driver.

“You never know what a traffic stop can lead to,” Sheriff Gregory Rudolph said. “When you do the right things and ask the right questions, it can lead to something unexpected.” More than ever, traffic stops are never routine. Especially on Route 20A in Wyoming County.

That was evident on Nov. 22, when Wyoming County Sheriff’s Sgt. Colin Reagan was on patrol and saw a 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander swerve. He pulled the SUV over and began talking to the driver.

“You never know what a traffic stop can lead to,” Sheriff Gregory Rudolph said. “When you do the right things and ask the right questions, it can lead to something unexpected.”

Reagan did just that and when he became suspicious of the driver, he asked permission to search the car. What he found was certainly unexpected: Packages of cocaine, weighing nearly 6 kilograms or 13 pounds.
By SCOTT DESMIT - sdesmit@batavianews.com
“It’s the largest seizure I can recall,” Rudolph said.

The driver, Manuel J. Rodriguez-Rosario, 32, of Jamestown was charged with the most severe drug charges under New York penal law: first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating as a major drug trafficker, both felonies.

Rosario was committed to Wyoming County Jail without bail. While the sheer amount of cocaine found was unexpected, where it happened was not, Rudolph said.

“It’s Route 20A,” he said. “If you’re coming from the city (New York) that’s where the GPS takes you. We’ve seen an increased amount of traffic on Route 20A in the past five or six years.”

Many of those driving on that route are from New York City, New Jersey and Canada. Deputies and state police routinely make traffic stops that lead to drug charges for out-of-towners. As for Rosario, it is likely the case will be heading to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

“While the DEA has not filed yet, with a seizure of this magnitude, contact with out federal partners was made near the time of arrest,” Rudolph said. “We continue to work with them as this investigation continues.”

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