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Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of two Dansville resident on drug related charges following a traffic stop.
On January 6th, 2022 at about 6:45pm Deputy Jerry Pilkenton was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative when he stopped a vehicle on Interstate 390 for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The operator of the vehicle was identified as Tosha M. Mercado, age 39, from Dansville, NY. A passenger in the vehicle was identified as Michael J. Paul, age 40 and also from Dansville, NY. During the stop the Deputy Sheriff did suspect the occupants to be involved in drug activity at which point a roadside drug investigation was initiated.
The roadside investigation revealed that both Mercado and Paul were in possession of a quantity of suspected heroin and crack cocaine. Both substances were later field tested and confirmed to be positive for each respective drug. The investigation also revealed that Paul had attempted to conceal the drugs within the vehicle with the intent of preventing detection from the Deputy Sheriff.
Both Mercado and Paul were arrested and charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree. Additionally, Paul was charged with felony Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Mercado and Paul were each transported and turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and released on an appearance ticket to return to the Avon Town Court at a later date, as the offenses did not qualify for arraignment under the NYS Justice Reform Act.
Assisting with the investigation for the Sheriff’s Office was Deputy Ryan Bulter, as well as Sergeant Caleb Cutting and his K9 partner, KAI, who specialize in narcotics detection.