Using Facebook to sell pot leads to felony arrest

— Photo from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office

Kerry D. Bendel

WESTERLO — A Westerlo man was arrested after using Facebook, a social media site, to sell marijuana, police say.

Kerry D. Bendel, 23, was arrested on Friday, Feb. 22, following an investigation that revealed he had been using Facebook to sell marijuana, said Inspector J.T. Campbell of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. Bendel was found with one pound of marijuana packaged for sale. Campbell declined to discuss the investigation further, due to a confidential source.

Following his arrest, police searched his home and found an additional six pounds of “loose” marijuana, said Campbell.

Bendel was charged with second-degree criminal sale of marijuana and second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, both felonies. He was arraigned in Westerlo Town Court with Judge Kenneth Mackey presiding, and was remanded to Albany County’s jail on a $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. He is due back in court on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Last year, the Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced he would be not prosecuting cases of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. Campbell said that the more severe charge of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana is made if the amount of marijuana is in excess of 16 ounces.

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