Tonawanda News

The City

July 11, 2014

City cops make significant drug bust

Tonawanda News — City of Tonawanda police arrested a Town of Tonawanda man Wednesday following a traffic stop for carrying several pounds of marijuana, a slew of prescription pills and thousands of dollars. 

Graham M. Hagen, 25, of Parker Boulevard, Tonawanda, was stopped by Officer Frank Washburn along Ellicott Creek Road for driving 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. When the officer approached the vehicle he said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana. 

Police Capt. Fredric Foels said Hagen initially told Washburn that he had smoked marijuana the night before and that his clothes still smelled of it. 

“It just reeked of marijuana,” Foels said, of Hagen’s vehicle. “The kid finally offered up one bag, which led to the search.” 

Police found what Foels described as one of the bigger drug busts in the city in recent history. The search turned up 4.5 pounds of marijuana, marijuana butter and candy, a hundreds of prescription pills, including some opiates, hash oil, and drug paraphernalia such as pipes, scales and grinders. 

The bust was so significant that a New York state Police K-9 unit was called in for a secondary sweep of the vehicle, which also led to the discovery of $24,533 in cash held in two backpacks. 

“The dog was able to correlate the money and the drugs,” Foels said. 

Hagen, who was charged in 2012 for a simple possession of marijuana, now faces several felony counts. He was charged at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday with criminal possession of narcotic drugs with intent to sell, criminal possession of marijuana, five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and two traffic violations. 

He was arraigned in city court, where bail was set at $10,000. Hagen will appear again Tuesday for a felony hearing. 

 “This was one of our larger seizures in the past few years,” Foels said. “Based on the quantity and the weight of the marijuana, the street value of the marijuana alone was more than $20,000.” 

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