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EDEN SUPERVISOR'S SON JAILED AFTER DRUG ARREST

Andrew Nellis, who is awaiting sentencing on rape charges, was arrested Wednesday in Buffalo for allegedly leading police on a high-speed car chase and possessing crack cocaine.

Nellis, 23, of Eden, the son of Town Supervisor Glenn R. Nellis, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and promoting prison contraband.

In addition, he was charged with vehicle and traffic offenses: reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle without insurance and failing to obey traffic devices.

On Oct. 13, Nellis pleaded guilty to reduced rape charges before Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio and was allowed to remain free on bail.

Andrew Nellis pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory rape -- one count of second-degree rape and three of third-degree rape -- for being sexually intimate with four underage girls.

On Wednesday, Nellis appeared in Buffalo City Court on the new charges and was jailed in the Erie County Holding Center after failing to post $10,000 bail. He is due in court again Nov. 3.

"It appears to me as if he's spiraling out of control," said Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark.

"I'm a little surprised by these new charges because here we have someone who has pled guilty to four felony charges who goes out and commits another felony while he's awaiting sentencing. . . . This would appear to be an aggravating factor to the sentencing judge."

In a telephone interview, Glenn Nellis said he is hurt by the new charges against his son.

"This is obviously terribly distressing, and we're disappointed in him," Glenn Nellis said.

"On the other hand, he's our son. He knows we love him, and we're trying to be as supportive as we can."

Prosecutors have said Andrew Nellis could face up to 19 years in prison on the rape charges but also could receive probation. He is due to be sentenced Dec. 8.

Nellis' attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou, said of the new charges: "He has asserted his innocence, and we intend to defend these new charges. These new charges should not be held against him. At this point, he's presumed innocent for the purposes of his sentencing."

Police said the incident began about 12:30 a.m. when Officer John Evans tried to pull Nellis over for ignoring a stop sign at West Ferry and Herkimer streets.

According to police reports, Evans activated the overhead lights and sirens on his patrol car, but Nellis refused to stop and sped away, driving through several red lights.

Police said Nellis eventually stopped his car in the 600 block of Breckenridge Street, abandoned the car and ran south through nearby yards. Evans and Officers David Barczak, Jeffrey Banes and James Hummel gave chase and arrested Nellis in the 600 block of West Ferry.

When asked by officers why he sped away, Nellis reportedly said that it was because he already was facing a charge of driving while intoxicated and was in a lot of trouble.

Police said they recovered an eighth of an ounce of crack cocaine from Nellis at the Holding Center.

Glenn Nellis said he hopes his son will receive treatment if he is addicted to crack cocaine.

"We've had our suspicion about marijuana, but no indication of hard drugs," he said. "The fact that he's involved in cocaine is particularly distressing because of its addictive quality. We all know drugs can make you do things you wouldn't otherwise do."

e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com

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