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Nassau correction officer faces felony drug charge

Daniel Lanigan, 29, a Nassau County correction officer, was arrested Monday on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, prosecutors said.
Photo Credit: Nassau County District Attorney

A Nassau County correction officer is facing felony drug charges after he was allegedly caught possessing amphetamine pills and investigators believe he had the intent to sell them, the Nassau County district attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Daniel Lanigan, 29, of Levittown, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the felony and misdemeanor counts. Prosecutors said he was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was released without bail following an arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead and is due back in court on Thursday.

Prosecutors said district attorney’s investigators allegedly spotted Lanigan in a “drug-related transaction” in Levittown on Monday afternoon. Detectives said they found 10 pills, believed to be Adderall – an amphetamine – in Lanigan’s shorts pocket. Court papers said the orange, yellow and clear pills – some of which had been marked “Adderall XR 30 mg” – were stuffed into a bottle of Motrin.

“The public has a right to expect that employees put in positions of authority and paid with their tax dollars do not put themselves above the law,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. “My office will continue to investigate anyone who violates that sacred trust.”

Investigators said Lanigan was supposed to report to work as a correction officer at the Nassau County Jail two hours after his arrest. Prosecutors did not say Tuesday where they believe Lanigan was going to sell the drugs. He could not immediately be reached for comment. His attorney told Newsday that Lanigan denies the charges against him and that he will “fight them vigorously.”

Nassau County Sheriff Michael Sposato said Lanigan had worked as a correction officer since 2009. He was fired after his arrest. In a statement, Sposato said: “The Sheriff’s Department continues to work cooperatively with the Office of the District Attorney in this matter.”