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Bolivar NY pair accused of drug smuggling arrested on I-390 by Livingston County Sheriff Deputies

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The married couple both held without bail, over 300 bags of fentanyl confiscated

Michael T. Baldwin Reports:

INTERSTATE 390- Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of two Allegany County residents on felony and misdemeanor charges following a traffic stop.

On August 3, 2022 Investigator Shawn Whitford was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate initiative when he stopped a vehicle on Interstate 390 in the Town of Avon for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic law. The Investigator suspected that there was drug activity in the vehicle and conducted a roadside investigation.

The operator of the vehicle was identified as David L. Phearsdorf, age 38, from Bolivar, NY. The passenger of the vehicle was identified Lisa J. Phearsdorf, age 38, also from Bolivar, NY.

The roadside investigation revealed that the Phearsdorf’s were in possession of crack cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl. A total of 323 bags of fentanyl were seized from the traffic stop along with two stun guns.

Both Phearsdorfs were arrested for drug charges and transported to the Livingston County Jail for processing.

David Phearsdorf was charged with three counts of felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, two counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree. He was also issued multiple traffic tickets for additional violations of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.

Lisa Phearsdorf was charged with three counts of felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.

Both Phearsdorf’s were transported and turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention. The District Attorney’s Office was contacted in regards to bail due to the felony level charges. It was recommended that Lisa Phearsdorf be arraigned because of the serious felony charges, but that she be released on her own recognizance. The offenses did qualify for pre-arraignment detention under the NYS Justice Reform Act; however a Judge may not set bail because the offenses are non- qualifying offenses under the NYS Justice Reform Act.

The District Attorney’s Office recommended that David Phearsdorf be held without bail due to two prior felony convictions.

The Phearsdorf’s were later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Town of North Dansville Judge Werth. The Judge did release Lisa per the law. The Judge did remanded David Phearsdorf to the custody of the Sheriff without the chance of bail due to two prior felony convictions.

The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office was present and represented the Phearsdorf’s at the court arraignment for their defense. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear to represent the people.

The investigation was handled by Investigator Shawn Whitford of the Criminal Investigations Division. Assisting with the investigation were Deputy Jerry Pilkenton, Deputy Danielle Molisani, Deputy Cheyenne Masiello, and Deputy Brock Allen of the Patrol Division.

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