MIDDLETOWN – On Friday, September 4, 2020, at approximately 10:10 PM, Middletown Police Officers conducted a vehicle stop in the area of 32 Sprague Avenue for a traffic infraction. Police detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car that was occupied by two adults and three children, ages 10, 3, and 2.
The odor provided probable cause to conduct a search of the vehicle interior for the presence of marijuana. The five individuals were therefore asked to exit the vehicle so that the officers could conduct their authorized search. A police supervisor was present at the scene and oversaw the stop and subsequent search.
During a search of the vehicle interior, a loaded .22 Caliber black and silver handgun was located under the front passenger seat. As officers were securing the firearm, the male front seat passenger, 31-year-old Sequan Lewis of Monticello, attempted to run from officers. Officers pursued him approximately 15-20 feet and brought him to the ground, where he was taken into custody without further incident. The driver of the vehicle, Michelle McHugh, age 33, of Middletown, was also placed under arrest without incident. No injuries were reported by any of the individuals or officers involved.
The officers completed their search of the vehicle and located 8 grams of marijuana inside of the passenger compartment. Additionally, a search of Sequan Lewis revealed 7 grams of an off white powder on his person, which when field-tested, revealed the presence of cocaine.
Both Sequan Lewis and Michelle McHugh were transported to the Middletown Police Department for processing. A check of Sequan Lewis’ criminal history revealed that he was on New York State Parole for a previous Violent Felony Assault conviction and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Michelle McHugh was processed on the charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, an unclassified misdemeanor, and released on an Appearance Ticket. Sequan Lewis was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree, a Felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in 4th Degree a Felony; Obstructing Government Administration in the Second Degree, a misdemeanor; and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a misdemeanor. He was later arraigned in Middletown City Court and remanded to Orange County Jail.
The City of Middletown Narcotics Unit and the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) assisted with the investigation.
Chief Ewanciw stated, “In the wake of Officer Barone’s shooting, this is another prime example of the outstanding work that our officers perform every day for the Middletown Community. A dangerous individual with an illegal firearm has been taken off the street, and will no longer pose a threat to my officers or our residents and business owners.”