Cops: Men arrested Friday in Riverhead had heroin, cocaine

Lonnie Pray mug shot (Credit: Riverhead police department)
Lonnie Pray after an arrest in relation to an alleged attack in August. (Riverhead police)

The two men arrested after a traffic stop in Riverhead Friday night are both ex-cons who were carrying heroin, cocaine and marijuana at the time of their arrests, according to charges aired during separate court appearances Saturday morning.

Police say 53-year-old Lonnie Pray, who is described as being homeless, was found with cocaine in his pants pocket, though Mr. Pray denied those charges to Justice Richard Ehlers, who read the accusations from a police-prepared criminal complaint in Town Justice Court.

“That stuff did not come out of my pocket, man,” Mr. Pray said. “They threw me on the ground … next thing I know I’m getting charged with crack cocaine.”

Mr. Ehlers cited a previous felony conviction and ordered Mr. Pray to be held on $2,500 bail. He is due back in court Monday.

Mr. Pray also has 16 prior felony arrests, the judge said. His most recent arrest came just last month for allegedly attacking a woman with a golf club.

The other suspect, John Sanders, 43, of Osprey Avenue in Riverhead, has four previous felony convictions, Judge Ehlers noted in court.

Police say Mr. Sanders had cocaine in excess of 500 milligrams, envelopes containing heroin and bags of marijuana at the time of his arrest. Mr. Sanders, who told Judge Ehlers he’s been working at a Hamptons tree service company since August, was held without bail.

He was being transferred to county court to wait until a court appearance Monday in Riverhead.

The driver, Tracy Pavlicko, 34, of Middle Island, was issued traffic tickets and released soon after her arrest, police said.

A Middle Island woman is questioned by police, at right, after passengers in her vehicle were allegedly found to be in possession of narcotics. (Credit: Grant Parpan)
A Middle Island woman (at right, in blanket) is questioned by police after passengers in her vehicle were allegedly found to be in possession of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. About a dozen police responded to the scene, including New York State troopers. (Credit: Grant Parpan, file)