SALAMANCA — Two Buffalo residents face several felony charges after a reported burglary of a cannabis dispensary and wild chase early Feb. 9 on U.S. Route 219 from the town of Great Valley to Erie County.
Damion M. Hill, 24, and Anna E. Brown-Melson, 19, were arrested in West Seneca — after an approximately 50-mile chase — when the vehicle Hill was allegedly driving was disabled by law enforcement officers using spike strips. The vehicle went out of control at the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 190, struck a guardrail and came to a stop.
The suspects allegedly were found to have 7.5 pounds of stolen cannabis, worth approximately $12,000, in the vehicle when they were apprehended.
The chase began just after 12:30 a.m. when the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary that had just occurred at cannabis dispensary Dancing Turtle West in the city of Salamanca. Report of the burglary included a description of a vehicle leaving the scene.
According to the sheriff’s office, a responding deputy saw the suspect vehicle on Route 219 in the town of Great Valley and attempted to pull the driver over. The vehicle sped away in the direction of Ellicottville.
The sheriff’s office reported that Ellicottville police officers attempted to use spike strips to stop the vehicle but were not successful. The chase continued through the village and then north on 219 through the town of Ashford and into Erie County.
Erie County sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit in Springville and the chase continued through the towns of Boston, Hamburg and Orchard Park where Orchard Park police also deployed spike strips. The spike strips resulted in one hit but the suspect vehicle continued to the town of West Seneca and I-90, where the vehicle struck more spike strips and finally was halted.
The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office reported that Hill faces counts of criminal possession of cannabis in the second degree, a class E felony; criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a class D felony; conspiracy in the fifth degree, a class A misdemeanor; unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor; reckless endangerment in the first degree, a class D felony; and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor.
He also was cited for 27 uniform traffic tickets out of the village of Ellicottville and the towns of Great Valley and Ashford.
Brown-Melson is also charged with criminal possession of cannabis in the second degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and conspiracy in the fifth degree. She was also cited for three traffic violations out of Ellicottville and the towns of Great Valley and Ashford.
Both Hill and Brown-Melson were taken back to the Salamanca Police Department for processing and to be held pending arraignment.