ITHACA, N.Y. – An Ithaca man was arrested on Tuesday after police allegedly found him in possession of nearly 20 grams of cocaine.

Members of the Ithaca Police Department conducted a search warrant around 11:30 a.m. at the residence of Vern Westoven, 40, on S. Albany Street. Officers said they found multiple clear bags containing a ‘white powdery substance’. Police said the substance, which they suspected was cocaine, weighed approximately 19.9 grams.

Upon testing the substance, police said the powder tested positive for cocaine, a schedule II narcotic.

Court documents state that Sgt. Matthew Cowen was the officer who located the cocaine, which was found in an amplifier in the defendant’s bedroom. Police said they also found packaging material, digital scales and $1,479 in cash.

“The presence of the digital scales, packaging materials, the aggregate weight of the suspected crack cocaine and the large sum of cash in small denominations is consistent with the sale of narcotics on the street,” court documents stated.

Westoven was arraigned before City Court Judge Richard Wallace and remanded to Tompkins County Court on a$5,000 bond or $2,500 cash bail. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and is due to reappear in City Court on Friday for a felony preliminary hearing.

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.