ELIZABETHTOWN — A local man awaiting trial on drug charges has been hit with another round of felony charges relating to narcotics and weapons.
State police arrested Ronnie Cunningham, 54, on Thursday, July 31, at the Essex County Jail where he was awaiting trial of a series of charges stemming from getting nabbed in June with 15 bags of heroin and $5,600 in cash.
Thursday’s arrest warrant, issued by Essex County Court for two third-degree counts each of criminal sale and possession, stems from an investigation by the state police and Essex County Sheriff’s Department.
A separate investigation stuck Cunningham with an additional three charges: Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th Degree, Private Sale or Disposal of a Firearm and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th Degree.
Cunningham was arraigned at the Essex County Court on Friday. Specific details on those charges were not available by the time this story went to press.
Janice Hutchins lives across the street from the house on Water Street where Cunningham, who moved to Elizabethtown from Lake Placid last year, allegedly opened up a drug distribution center.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.
Hutchins moved to the area in 1961.
“We had the best neighborhood anywhere in the world,” she said. “Houses full of kids, everyone knew each other. It was nothing like it is now.”
On the tree-lined strip, real estate signs advertising empty houses, some with overgrown and unkempt lawns, were more common than children, even on a bright summer morning. Storefronts sat vacant on cracked and uneven sidewalks, many with shabby-looking edifices.
Hutchins said she heard rumors about 62 Water Street, the alleged drug house.
“But you can’t believe everything you hear,” she said. “There was quite a lot of activity in and out of there. What puzzled me was they left three floodlights on all night long.”