Every American adult, but especially elected public officials, knows that cocaine is a highly illicit drug that is not to be bought, sold, or possessed.
It would appear that some Democrats in upstate New York either forgot or thought the rules didn’t apply to them, as at least three elected Democrats in the region have been busted for cocaine possession over the past three years, according to the New York Post.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who represents the district in Congress, told the Post, “North Country elected Democrats have a cocaine and crime problem.”
Defiant refusal to resign
The latest to run afoul of the laws against cocaine possession is Tony Arquiett, a 56-year-old legislator in St. Lawrence County who was caught with the illegal drug after being involved in a drunk driving accident on tribal land.
According to the arrest blotter for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department, Arquiett was charged with driving while intoxicated and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The Post noted that, according to the local legislator’s attorney, Ed Narrow, Arquiett intends to plead not guilty in a court appearance next month and has no intentions of resigning the seat he has held since 2010.
Stefanik told the Post, “It is a disgrace that Arquiett refuses to resign and that fellow elected Democrats are silent.”
Cocaine is a helluva drug
But Arquiett certainly isn’t alone, and Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill explained to the Post how drugs have increasingly become a big problem in upstate New York.
“I run the county jail and I gotta tell you, 60 to 80 percent of the inmates I have, have some sort of a drug issue,” the sheriff said. “Now that we are getting over the opioid epidemic, cocaine seems to be filling in the gap.”
As for the other two elected Democrats with an apparent cocaine problem highlighted by the Post, the first of those is Tim Currier, a former police chief who was the then-mayor of Massena when he was arrested in December 2020 after fleeing an attempted undercover drug sales bust and was spotted ditching a bag of crack cocaine out of the window of his vehicle, according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.
He ultimately resigned and apologized and received a slap on the wrist of a $150 fine plus $93 in court costs after pleading guilty to a lesser crime.
And then there was former Clinton County lawmaker Simon Conroy, who among a host of other criminal charges over the years was busted in September 2019 for cocaine possession, according to the local Press-Republican newspaper. The Post noted that after initially disputing the charge as “fraudulent,” Conroy eventually resigned and pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and a $500 fine.