Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of an Allegany County resident on drug related charges following a traffic stop.
On November 19th, 2020 at about 9:00pm Sergeant Matthew Thomas 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 Robert E. Bowker Jr, age 44, from Scio, NY. A passenger in the vehicle was identified as Lori A. Bowker, age 40 from Scio, NY. During the stop, the Sergeant did suspect the occupants to be involved in drug activity, prompting him to initiate a roadside drug investigation.
The roadside investigation revealed that Lori was in possession of one-hundred and two (102) individually packaged baggies of suspected Fentanyl, as well as an additionally baggie containing suspected Methamphetamine. Lori was released on scene, pending the lab results, and the suspected drugs were sent to a forensic lab for testing.
Robert was also released with a uniform traffic ticket for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
On June 4th, 2021 Sergeant Thomas arrested and charged Lori Bowker with felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and two (2) counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, as the lab results did return positive for Fentanyl and Methamphetamine.
Lori was transported and turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention. The District Attorney’s Office was contacted in regards to bail due to the felony level charges. It was recommended that Lori be released on her own recognizance as the charges do not qualify for bail under the NYS Justice Reform Act.
Lori was later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Town of Caledonia Justice Mark Riggi. The Judge did release Lori on her own recognizance, per the law, to return to court at a later date and Deputies did set her free.
The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office was present and represented Lori at the court arraignment for her defense. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear to represent the people.
Assisting on scene for the Sheriff’s Office was Deputy Jerry Pilkenton.
“It is a sad state of affairs in New York State when an elected Judge has no discretion to hold or set bail on a person accused of committing a B felony for possessing over one hundred bags of fentanyl,” stated Sheriff Dougherty. “We need to bring back common sense and return judicial discretion to our elected Judges.”