BENNINGTON, N.Y. (WIVB) - Seven arrests were made after the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office broke up a large underage drinking party in the Town of Bennington and discovered a nearby golf course had been trashed.
On Saturday, deputies were called to Stedman Road, where they found 33 people under the age of 21 drinking alcohol. State Police and Attica Police helped deputies break up the party at the home, which used to be a church.
Resident Donna Mallette said, "Even though this is a small town, there are things that go on that we are unaware of."
Authorities say children as young as 15-years-old were being served alcohol, and deputies also found marijuana, cocaine, hydrocodone, a hypodermic syringe, and precursors to a Diemethyltryptamine lab inside the home.
Two residents at the home, 44-year-old Robert Plowe and 22-year-old Matthew Sheffield, were arrested and charged with unlawfully dealing alcohol to persons under 21, endangering the welfare of a child, second degree criminal nuisance, seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic needle, unlawful possession of marijuana, and fifth degree criminal possession of stolen property. Both were taken to the Wyoming County Jail on $8,000 bail.
Mallette added, "They shouldn't be learning about drugs and I'm glad that the guy who hosted it is in jail."
Another man in the home, 20-year-old John Laude of Akron, was arrested and charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Deputies say Laude had cocaine. After being arraigned, Laude was taken to the Wyoming County Jail on $6,000 bail.
"It's everywhere," said resident Dan Fronczak. "I don't know how they control it, but even the biggest towns or the littlest towns have the same problems."
Deputies say party-goers who left the home before authorities arrived went to Quiet Times Golf Course down the road and damaged the property. Deputies found several mailboxes and flags destroyed and the greens damaged. Authorities say those involved also tried to steal golf carts, but were unsuccessful.
"They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and not get off the hook. Make kids responsible, not just the parents pay the fine and they're off," Fronczak said.
One 17-year-old was caught after a short foot chase. He is charged with fourth degree criminal mischief, attempted petit larceny, sixth degree conspiracy, and second degree obstructing governmental administration. He was taken to the Wyoming County Jail on $2,000 bail.
Further investigation led to charges against two 16-year-old boys and an 18-year-old man. All were charged with fourth degree criminal mischief, attempted petit larceny and sixth degree conspiracy. They were given appearance tickets and are due back in court at a later date.
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