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Police Find More Than Quarters Inside Ansonia Vending Machines

by Eugene Driscoll | Mar 1, 2012 5:14 pm

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Posted to: Ansonia

Ansonia police are investigating whether a drug suspect was hiding contraband inside two machines at a private club on Maple Street.

John Uhlig, Jr. already faces a multitude of criminal charges after police allegedly found two pounds and marijuana and nine ounces of cocaine in his possession.

Based on information gathered during that arrest, police used a search and seizure warrant Feb. 21 to take a vending machine and a large electronic dart board from the Norwood Athletic Club, a social club at 35 Maple St.

Ansonia police Lt. Andrew Cota said detectives had received information alleging that Uhlig, 33, of Ansonia, may have been storing drugs or cash in the machines.

Police opened the machines but didn’t find drugs or money. Instead, they recovered a scale, packaging material and a powdery material police think was used to “cut” cocaine.

“The machines were operational. You could put money in, play darts or buy pretzels,” Cota said.

A man answering the phone at the club Thursday said members were told not to comment. A message was left with Uhlig’s lawyer.

Ansonia police are still trying to establish a direct connection between Uhlig and the machines. Club officials told police Uhlig owned both machines.

Police are not sure whether Uhlig was a member of the club.

“We were told that Uhlig took care of the machines, took the money out of them and restocked the machines,” Cota said.

Police could apply for an arrest warrant to charge Uhlig. The machines are being stored at the police department.

Prior Arrests

Uhlig, an Ansonia native, was a standout athlete in the 1990s at Ansonia High School.

He was also a youth basketball coach in Ansonia and a “semi-professional” poker player.

He was arrested Feb. 16 after Seymour Police Officer Jonathan Martin pulled him over for allegedly speeding with a headlight out on South Main Street.

The officer smelled marijuana in the car and saw a small bag of marijuana between his legs, police said.

A search of Uhlig’s 2001 Cadillac DeVille turned up a pound of marijuana, 3 ounces of cocaine, two guns and $2,200 in cash, police said.

Cops then raided his house in Ansonia, where they allegedly recovered another pound of marijuana and 6.5 ounces of cocaine.

Uhlig is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Derby March 5.

Seymour police on Feb. 16 charged Uhlig with the following:

  • Possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
  • Possession of cocaine
  • Possession of cocaine with intent to sell
  • Weapon in a motor vehicle
  • Carrying a pistol without a permit
  • Criminal use of a firearm
  • Criminal possession of a pistol or revolver
  • Interfering with an officer
  • Traveling too fast

Ansonia police on Feb. 16 charged Uhlig with the following:

  • Risk of injury to a minor (his two young sons were allegedly in the house)
  • Sale of a controlled substance
  • Operating a drug factory
  • Sale of illegal drugs
  • Possession of narcotics
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Uhlig has not been charged for the items police found at the Norwood Athletic Club.

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