Man faces more drug charges following arrest

By Nick Walton -

An Urbana man already facing felony drug charges was arrested last week following a covert drug investigation by the Urbana Police Division.

Ernest R. Lamere, 27, is charged with trafficking drugs, tampering with evidence and possession of drugs stemming from a July 17 incident.

Lamere’s case was bound over to the Champaign County Common Pleas Court Wednesday, according to the municipal court’s website. His bond remained at $25,000.

Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell said last week’s arrest was the result of an investigation following a drug tip given to police earlier in the day regarding Lamere. Police set up a buy bust and were in the area when Lamere showed up at a South Walnut Street location to obtain prescribed medications.

After completing the drug transaction, Lamere got into a vehicle driven by his wife, along with their two young children, and left. An officer conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle after a short distance.

As officers approached the vehicle to take him into custody, Lamere allegedly swallowed all but one of the 15 oxycodone pills he had obtained.

Police interviewed Lamere and took him to Mercy Memorial Hospital to be checked for ingesting the pills. He indicated to police that he intended to resell the pills, but got frightened when he saw police stopping his vehicle.

Lamere was transported to the Tri-County Regional Jail, Mechanicsburg, after he was released from the hospital.

A Champaign County grand jury indicted Lamere last month on three counts of aggravated possession of drugs, two counts of illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of petty theft. The charges are related to conduct from March and April.

Lamere was granted a personal recognizance bond on June 17.

Champaign County Assistant Prosecutor Wesley Somogy filed a notice of bond violation on July 8, stating that Lamere was charged with a minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The charge stemmed from a July 7 fight.

A bond review hearing was scheduled to take place during the final pretrial hearing on Aug. 14.

Lingrell stated police appreciate the community’s willingness to help police in their efforts to stop illegal drug crimes in the city. He added prescription medications are one of the top abused drugs in the city.

Residents with information about drugs or any other crimes are asked to contact police at 937-652-4350 or at the crime/drug tip line of 937-652-4357.

By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.