A FORMER Listowel publican has been charged in the US with driving drunk, with a child in a car, and with possession of cocaine.
Denis M Collins (46), with an address at 126 E Carroll St, Pearl River, was arrested by police last week in the Pearl River area of New York, roughly 20 miles outside Manhattan on the New Jersey border in the Orangetown jurisdiction.
A native of Ballylongford, Mr Collins ( pictured) is the former publican of Collins' Inn on William Street, Listowel. The public house closed down over six years ago and Mr Collins moved to the United States.
He was stopped by Orangetown police last week after they were alerted by the Clarkstown police in connection with a suspected shoplifting incident in which Mr Collins was sought at the Eastern Mountain Sports store in Nanuet.
During his arraignment at Orangetown Town County in Orangeburg, police said that he appeared intoxicated when he was stopped by them at 7.30pm on Thursday, July 19. They alleged that he also had a child, under the age of 15, in the car with him.
Orangetown Town Court also heard police allege they discovered an open 'container' of alcohol in the car, two new pairs of sneakers and other clothing items with store tags still attached. A search of Mr Collins uncovered a small bag of cocaine, they further alleged.
The Ballylongford native was taken to Orangetown police headquarters in Orangeburg where he was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated - under Leandra's Law, a felony in the state of New York.
He was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and traffic violations and is currently under investigation in connection with the Nanuet shoplifting incident as well as police try to determine where the goods found in his car came from.
Mr Collins pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was brought before the court again on Wednesday last. He was released from custody to appear again before Orangetown Justic Court on September 12 next.