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Deputies Make Cocaine Arrest on a Boat


Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces the arrest of 7 individuals after Deputies from the Sheriff’s Marine Unit stopped a boat for speeding within 100 feet of shore.  The subsequent investigation resulted in the discovery of a large amount of cocaine.

The Deputies’ investigation found 18 bags of cocaine totaling ½ ounce in Melvin Ward’s procession and the Deputies determined he was selling the cocaine from the boat.  Ward was charged with 2 felony counts including criminal possession and criminal possession with intent to sell.

Also arrested were Matthew Ohleman, 25; Nicholas Pera, 49; Charles Licthenberger, 28; Erin Mahoney, 31; Elizabeth Honan, 27; and Justin Hart, 22; these individuals were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Ohleman faces additional charges of Obstruction of Governmental Administration when he interfered with the Deputies while they were on the stopped vessel.

Sheriff Howard states, “This was a very dangerous situation our deputies found themselves in but their training and experience quickly brought it under control until backup arrived.”

U.S. Coast Guard Station Buffalo dispatched one of its boats to assist the Deputies.  Upon arrival at the scene, Coast Guard personnel rescued one individual from the water and turned that individual over to the custody of the Erie County Sheriff Deputies.

“Knowing that other law enforcement marine units are available to assist my Deputies is appreciated and I want to thank the Coast Guard for its quick response,” said Sheriff Howard.

Ward, age 32, is in custody at the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment in Buffalo City Court.  Ohelman was transported to the holding center in lieu of $500 bail and the rest of the individuals were issued appearance tickets for Buffalo City Court and are due to appear on June 30, 2014.