The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

February 19, 2013

Woman sought after drug arrest

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — An Oneonta woman is wanted on a felony warrant, said Otsego County deputies who have arrested a man accused of allowing the sale of heroin from a home in the city.

Deputies are looking for Marlee Ann Rickard, 35, who is about 5-foot-3-inches tall, weighs about 130 pounds and has reddish-brown hair and green eyes, a media release said. Anyone with information is asked to call deputies 547-4363 or the Tip Line at 547-1690. Calls will be confidential, deputies said.

Rickard has been on the run since Friday, when law enforcement officers went to 6 N. Seventh St. in the city to arrest her and her friend, Christopher Leland Preston Root, also of that address, but both refused to answer the door.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for them from Oneonta City Court Judge Lucy Bernier, the release said, and deputies and city police searched the residence and found Root hiding in the attic.

Root, 38, was charged with first-degree criminal nuisance and fourth-degree conspiracy, felonies, deputies said. He was arraigned before Bernier and sent to county jail because of his three previous felony convictions. If convicted on the most recent charges, deputies said, he could face 15 years to life in prison.

Root’s arrest is the result of a six-month probe by the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Oneonta Police Department Detective Bureau.

On Aug. 17, deputies and city police executed a no-knock narcotics search warrant at Root’s residence and charged two Utica men with fourth-degree conspiracy. They were accused of conspiring to possess and sell narcotic drugs in the city of Oneonta, the release said, and they later pleaded guilty to fifth-degree conspiracy in city court.

However, deputies and police received several complaints from residents about suspicious activity at the same residence since the August raid. As a result of the investigation, Root and Rickard are accused of agreeing with other parties to possess and/or sell heroin, allowing heroin to be sold and deriving a benefit from allowing the narcotic drug sales from their residence, the release said.

Root is to re-appear in city court Feb. 21.