Arrest Date: August 27, 2022
INTERSTATE 390- Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of Steuben County residents on felony and misdemeanor charges following a traffic stop.
On August 27, 2022 Deputy Jerry Pilkenton was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Operation Safe Interstate when he conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 390, in the Town of Avon, for violations of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic law.
The roadside investigation revealed that the operator, who was identified as 37 year old Matthew B. Cornell of Canisteo NY, was operating the vehicle on a suspended license.
It was also learned that Cornell’s passenger, 33 year old Jamie L. Melnyk, from of Canisteo, was the registered owner of the vehicle and knew Cornell had a suspended license, still allowing him to operate her vehicle.
During the roadside encounter, the Deputy suspected Cornell and Melnyk to be involved in drug activity. Through further investigation, Melnyk was found to be in possession of a quantity of fentanyl which she had concealed on her person. Deputies learned that Cornell had given the fentanyl to Melnyk for her to conceal in an attempt to prevent Deputies from discovering it.
Cornell was arrested and charged with felony Criminal Sale of a Narcotic Drug in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, as well as other violations of Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Melnyk was arrested and charged with Felony Tampering with Physical Evidence, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, and Facilitating Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a motor vehicle.
Melnyk was turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing. The District Attorney’s Office was contacted in regards to bail due to the felony level charges. It was recommended that Melnyk be processed and released with an appearance ticket to answer the charges at a later date.
Cornell was also turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre- arraignment detention. The District Attorney’s Office was contacted in regards to bail due to the felony level charges. It
was recommended that Cornell be released on his own recognizance, as the charges did not qualify for bail under the NYS Justice Reform Act.
Cornell was later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Judge Riggi. The Judge did release Cornell on his own recognizance to return to court at a later date.
The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office was present and represented Cornell at the court arraignment for his defense. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear to represent the people.