October 23, 2021

2 men arrested in city drug bust

Two Cortland men have been charged after police seized 59 pounds of marijuana and 1,000 THC vape cartridges worth up to $310,000, said police Lt. Michael Strangeway.

Michael G. Bay, 21, of 23 Helen Ave., and John B. Aspinwall, 36, of 13 Hubbard St., were arrested Tuesday, a day after police learned that packages with southern California return addresses had been sent to fictitious names at Cortland addresses, Strangeway said. The packages were flagged by the delivery agencies.

Police dogs detected controlled substances in three packages, and police obtained a search warrant.

Police found:
• Two packages sent to 53 Clayton Ave. contained 1,000 THC vape cartridges with THC concentrations of more than 80%. Police said 1,000 cartridges have a street value of $40,000 to $50,000.

• A package sent to 23 Helen Ave. contained 15 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of between $48,000 and $62,000.

• More packages continued to arrive July 23, one sent to 15 Hubbard St. with 20 pounds of marijuana with a street value of between $64,000 to $89,600, another to 23 Helen Ave. containing 15 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $48,000 to $62,000 and another to 10 Duane St. with a street value of $32,000 to $44,800.

In two days, police seized a total of 59 pounds of marijuana and 1,000 vape cartridges with a street value of between $242,000.00 and $310,000.

Bay is charged with attempted first-degree possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence, felonies. He was released and scheduled to appear Aug. 9 in city court.

Aspinwall was charged with third-degree criminal possession of marijuana, fourth-degree conspiracy and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, felonies; and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. He was sent to the Cortland County Jail on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

Cortland County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration helped with the investigation, Strangeway said.

Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information pertaining to this case to contact Strangeway at 607-758-8307.