POLICE BLOTTER Southampton Town

06/08/2011 9:15 AM |

A Level-3 registered sex offender, deemed the most likely to re-offend, was arrested last week after he failed to update authorities on his current whereabouts and showed up at police headquarters carrying marijuana, Southampton Town Police said.

Benjamin Griffin, 55, last gave his address as the county’s homeless sex offender trailer at Center Drive in Riverside, authorities said. Southampton Police Sergeant Howard Kalb said it was not clear where Mr. Griffin was currently staying, but he had not stayed at the Suffolk County-operated trailer, located just outside the county jail, since April 2011.

Convicted sex offenders have 10 days to notify police of a change of address.

Southampton Town Police said Mr. Griffin came into headquarters for a required check-in last Thursday and officers found the marijuana on him. He was charged with failure to register change of address on the sex offender registry and unlawful possession of marijuana, officials said.

Mr. Griffin was originally convicted in May 1983 of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to a maximum of 27 years in prison, according to the New York State Sex Offender Registry.

• A Southampton man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a prior drug incident after police stopped him while he was walking in Flanders. Then he was found carrying $2,000 worth of marijuana, Southampton Town Police said.

Police said 28-year-old John Ward was stopped while walking in front of a home on Longneck Boulevard. Mr. Ward had allegedly fled police after a traffic stop on May 1 and left crack cocaine in his car.

“We wanted to talk to him about the crack that he left in his car last time,” said Southampton Sgt. James Kiernan, who heads the Street Crimes Unit. He said during Tuesday’s arrest Mr. Ward had five ounces of marijuana in a back pack.

Mr. Ward was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of controlled substance and is scheduled to appear in Southampton Town Justice Court on June 22.

• Not wearing a seat belt led to a slew of other charges for an East Islip man after a traffic stop last week, according to Southampton Town Police.

Michael Tornabene, 35, of Conlu Drive was pulled over by police for a seat belt violation last Tuesday on Peconic Avenue near the traffic circle in Riverside, and was then found to have a suspended license, according to police. After he was arrested on that charge, police then discovered he was carrying pot, according to police, who said his registration had expired as well.

Mr. Tornabene was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, unregistered motor vehicle, driving without a seat belt and aggravated unlicensed operation, police said.

• A Riverhead man was pulled over for speeding on County Road 94 in Riverside Saturday when an officer noticed a smell of marijuana coming from the car, and the driver admitted to possessing and using marijuana, police said.

Christopher White, 28, of Jerome Circle in Riverhead was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding, authorities said.

• Nicole Whelan, 21, of Shirley was charged with driving while intoxicated about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday on Flanders Road in Flanders after being initially pulled over for speeding, according to police.

• Juan Diaz, 30, of Strawberry Commons in Riverhead was charged with DWI on Newtown Road, near Sunset Avenue, about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Hampton Bays after he was pulled over for crossing the yellow line, according to police.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.