|Photo: Watertown Daily Times
|Philip H. Tarbell, 68, former chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, has been charged for the second time in a year with transporting marijuana.
The former chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in northern New York state was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury for allegedly transporting about 95 pounds of marijuana. It is the second pot charge faced by the former chief in the past year.
Philip H. Tarbell, 68, of Hogansburg, N.Y., was charged with possession with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of cannabis, according to federal court records, reports David Winters at the Watertown Daily Times
He is accused of hiding the pot in two hockey bags in the back of a minivan when he got stopped on November 11 at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Route 9 just outside the village of Schroon Lake, Essex County, New York.
This isn’t the former chief’s first run-in with the law over transporting marijuana in the past 12 months.
He was also accused of having about 23 pounds of pot after a traffic stop in December 2009 on Route 11 in the town of Adams, N.Y., according to state police.
The charges in LeRay Town Court were dismissed because the district attorney’s office did not appear for a preliminary hearing, according to attorney Michael Rhodes-Devey, who represents Tarbell.
Tarbell is the chief executive of the constitutional government, which in 1999 was stripped of federal recognition as the official leadership of the tribe in favor of a three-chief government system. Constitutional leaders are still appealing that decision.
Tarbell was a leader in the former tribal government.
He was among three people who led a march in May 1994 in Hogansburg, N.Y., helping carry a banner proclaiming “Akwesasne Against Drugs.” The men were running for St. Regis Mohawk tribal chief.
Tarbell was released Thursday from federal custody after he posted $10,000 bail.