Friends and relatives of two men arrested on drug charges this weekend packed a Riverhead courtroom as the men made their second appearance before a judge in as many days.
David Brown, 37, of Flanders and Michael Bambrick, 25, of Riverhead were arrested about 8:40 p.m. Saturday when they were allegedly caught with drugs during a traffic stop on East Main Street, Riverhead police said.
They each are facing charges of three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of marijuana, police said.
Mr. Bambrick was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the incident, police said.
The bust comes less than six months after Mr. Brown was paroled on Sept. 14, after serving 17 years in prison for shooting and killing Riverhead-native Alvin Charles McElroy Jr., state parole records show. Mr. Brown was 18 years old at the time of the killing.
The men first appeared in court Sunday for initial arraignment proceedings.
Relatives of Mr. Brown who attended Monday’s court proceedings voiced their support for the man, and said he would be proven innocent.
“He’s loving, he’s caring, he’s a humanitarian who got caught up in some [stuff],” said a cousin who asked not to have her name printed. “[He was] in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A friend of Mr. Brown’s, Anthony Trent, said it was difficult for parolees to stay out of trouble once they are released from prison because there are so few programs to assist them.
“When you come back from parole in Riverhead, no one is there to help you,” he said.
Mr. Trent, who said he served time for felony drug sales and is also currently on parole, said it’s “beyond tough” to avoid that life, adding that he is working at a local supermarket to turn his life around.
He said Mr. Brown was a “decent dude” who made a mistake as a young man and should be treated “innocent until proven guilty.”
Mr. Bambrick’s friends and relatives also attended the court case, and watched as both Mr. Brown and Mr. Bambrick were led into court wearing green jumpsuits.
Mr. Bambrick was represented by court-appointed attorneys, and was being held without bail at Suffolk County jail. Mr. Bambrick blew a kiss to his family as he was led away.
His mother declined to speak about the case.
Mr. Brown was in court Monday, but had his case pushed back to Tuesday.
He was being held without bail due to two prior felony convictions, one for manslaughter in the 1993 killing and one for attempted promotion of prison contraband.