LOCKPORT – A North Tonawanda man was arraigned on a cocaine possession indictment Tuesday in Niagara County Court, but a co-defendant may have left the area.
Jeffrey M. Tretter, 20, of Eddy Drive, pleaded not guilty to third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.
However, William H. Chapple III, 45, of Pine Street, Lockport, did not appear to answer charges of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, unlawful growing of cannabis and three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Judge Matthew J. Murphy III issued an arrest warrant for Chapple. Defense attorney Ryan P. Hanna said similar bench warrants have been issued by judges in Lewiston and Grand Island.
Police raided Chapple’s apartment May 15 and said they seized 281 pot plants and three kinds of pain pills. Tretter was in his car outside and police obtained a search warrant for the auto, finding a quarter-ounce of alleged cocaine.
Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh said the U.S. Attorney’s Office is probing a subsequent drugstore burglary in Middleport and may indict Chapple in connection with the theft of a large quantity of pills.