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Cocaine on Main: Police make downtown bust

Posted on 31 August 2010

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To the untrained eye, it was an average Saturday evening in Sag Harbor on August 21. The northern end of Main Street was teeming with children balancing overloaded ice cream cones, adults chatting, and the familiar blare of horns navigating the confusing intersection by the flag pole. In the midst of this ordinary scene was Jamie Llanos, standing at his usual spot on the corner of Bay and Main Street in front of the Corner Bar. Llanos, an imposing man at six feet tall and 225 pounds, is a 35-year-old Sag Harbor resident.

Perhaps, one or two passersby noticed Llanos walking out of the bar, meeting up with an acquaintance and clandestinely handing off something before the friend merrily walked away. Thinking nothing of it, these observant citizens probably went about their own nighttime plans.

Llanos’ movements weren’t unnoticed by everyone. Stationed in various spots, undercover Sag Harbor Village Police officers were watching him and had been watching for the past couple days. At around 10:10 p.m., in what police say was one of his first transactions of the evening, Llanos was caught selling cocaine to village resident Thomas DePetris and carrying 12.5 grams of the drug in his right pants pocket.

According to lead investigator Sag Harbor Village Police Detective Jeff Proctor, the police had received anonymous tips for months about Llanos’ illicit business. Llanos, 35, is believed to have lived in the village for roughly two years and mainly worked at local restaurants. He hailed from Columbia and police confirmed that he wasn’t legally residing in the country. Over the course of a few days, police followed Llanos and allegedly observed him selling several half-grams of cocaine in glassine envelopes at $50 a baggie. On Saturday evening, with undercover cops stationed on the village streets and a plainclothes officer in the Corner Bar, Llanos was reportedly seen handing DePetris, 39, two clear plastic envelopes of cocaine. Police arrested both Llanos and DePetris on the spot, and Llanos admitted he was carrying 19 other baggies on him.

With 12.5 grams of cocaine on his person, Llanos faces two felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, which is punishable by a year to two-and-a-half years in state prison for first time offenders. In addition, Llanos was issued one charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony, which is also punishable with up to two and a half years of jail time.

Sag Harbor Village Police held Llanos for a morning arraignment at Southampton Town Justice Court in the morning on August 22. Justice Barbara Wilson presided over Llanos’ case, and he was later released after posting a $7,500. Due to Llano’s residency status, Detective Proctor pointed out that his agency informed Immigration and Naturalization Services of his arrest. Detective Proctor wasn’t sure if Llanos would be extradited to Columbia and said it is up to the courts on how his case will proceed.

DePetris faces misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor. He was brought to police headquarters and released on bail.

Detective Proctor pointed out that Sag Harbor Village Police made a similar cocaine bust last summer when Christopher Matzinger, 33, of Sag Harbor was arrested after selling half-gram baggies of cocaine in front of Phao restaurant on Main Street. Metzinger was reportedly carrying roughly seven grams of the drug.

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