On Saturday January 13, 2018, around 5:49 PM, a DPD patrol officer observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of W. 5th St and Swan St. A vehicle and traffic stop was conducted on Swan St near the intersection of W 6th St. The officer made contact with the operator of the vehicle who was identified as Jessie M. Melendez, age 32, Dunkirk, NY. At that time the officer observed a large quantity of high-quality marijuana packaged in large clear plastic bags that were in plain view on the rear floor of the vehicle. Subsequent investigation, Jessie M. Melendez, Jonathan R. Rodriguez, age 31, and Luis A. Sanchez, age 34, both of Dunkirk, NY were all charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree, a class D Felony. Melendez was additionally charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree, Fail to stop at sign and unsafe tires. The seized marijuana had a total weight in excess of 4 pounds, with an approximate street value of $8,000. In addition to the marijuana, a significant amount of U.S. Currency was seized from the suspects.
Jessie Melendez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court in front of Judge Kuzdale on Sunday January 14, 2018 and was ordered held without bail. Jonathan Rodriguez was arraigned and bail was set at $10,000 cash / $20,000 property. Luis Sanchez was arraigned and bail was set at $7,500 cash / $15,000 property. All 3 were transported to the Chautauqua County Jail after arraignment.