A Copiague man who police said was driving with 95 license suspensions and a rifle in the car was arraigned Wednesday in Central Islip.
Jerry Tenzie, 47, of Cassata Drive, stopped by officers who smelled marijuana coming from his car, was charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.
Tenzie pleaded not guilty.
He said he wasn’t driving Tuesday night when two Suffolk officers stopped the car after they said they smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to Tenzie’s court-appointed attorney, Ronald S. Zimmer of Commack. Tenzie said his fiance was driving at the time.
Police said Tenzie was driving about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday in a park-and-ride lot on Commack Road in Commack while Second Precinct crime section officers Heather McQuade and Bobby Temple were secretly looking out for drug use and prostitution problems there.
“They could smell the marijuana as he was driving by,” said crime section Sgt. Hank Arnold.
The officers also discovered Tenzie had a rifle, which he is not allowed to own because he is a felon, police said.
“Looks like it’s a hunting rifle, not an assault rifle,” Zimmer said Tuesdayin an interview.
At the arraignment, Zimmer asked the presiding judge for reasonable bail, saying Tenzie, a father of four, is a lifelong Suffolk resident. The alleged crime, Zimmer noted, was not violent in nature.
The judge set at $5,000 cash or $20,000 bond each for the marijuana possession and the unlicensed operation of vehicle, and $20,000 cash or $50,000 bond for the illegal possession a rifle.
His driving record showed a total of 95 suspensions for various vehicle and license violations on nine different dates, with the first one in 1988, Arnold said.
Tenzie was charged with unlicensed operation because he had switched plates on a friend’s Nissan he was driving and he didn’t have car insurance, the sergeant said.