CLEARFIELD – A New York man will spend time in state prison for bringing drugs into the area.
David Batista, 31, 2288 Mott Ave., Queens, NY, has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance before Judge Paul E. Cherry. He was sentenced to 27 months to seven years in state prison.
The charges stem from an incident in February of 2014 after a vehicle was stopped in Lawrence Township. Police had received a tip that the vehicle carried several people from outside the area that had drugs. A search of the car uncovered money and more than 30 bags of crack cocaine.
During the preliminary hearing, a police officer testified that she received information on the defendant from a confidential informant. He told her he would be driving the group from one local hotel to another. The informant did not have a valid license and had several active warrants, giving the officer a reason to stop the car.
The vehicle was pulled over near the intersection of state Route 879 and Industrial Drive. Several bags were found in the trunk. One of the bags had more than $7,000 in it and 36 bags of crack cocaine. A laptop bag had nine receipts for money transfers through Western Union that totaled more than $4,000 and a small digital scale.
The second witness was the informant. He identified Batista and said he met him two weeks before his arrest. He bought crack cocaine from Batista five times during that period. All of these transactions were in a hotel room.
The informant admitted he was addicted to crack cocaine and purchased the drug several times a day. He stated he also purchased crack from two others in the group, Shaking Devine Saunders and Edward Allen.
The day he helped move them to another hotel, the informant said he saw a bag with several little bags of drugs, which Batista told one of the others to put away. He also saw a “bunch of money” in a black bag. These bags were put in the trunk of the car.
According to the affidavit in this case, Batista’s charges are the result of a grand jury investigation.
In November, Saunders, 37, 8418 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Far Rockaway, NY, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-cocaine and Allen 39, 431 Beach St., Far Rockaway, NY, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-cocaine. They both received sentences of 27 months to seven years in state prison from President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman.
The fourth passenger in the vehicle, Lashanda Mount, 29, 25 Pyramid Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in April. She was sentenced to nine months to 16 months in jail and two years consecutive probation.