URGENT swoops down on Grandpa Woodstock

Allyn Richardson

Allyn Richardson

When Allyn M. Richardson, somehow known as “Grandpa Woodstock,” got arrested Friday, August 8, one of the neighbors near his residence at 135 Tinker Street, noted how he and others, “were startled from their lunch by barking police dogs followed by ‘Stop! Get your hands up now!’

“Several unmarked SUVs were seen parked along Tinker Street. Two Woodstock Police cars and some unmarked cars were in the driveway at 135 Tinker Street,” reported neighbor (and Woodstock Times reporter) Nick Henderson. “Sheriff’s deputies stayed in the driveway for about an hour and regularly moved items out of the apartment… Friends are looking after Richardson’s wife, known as ‘Grandma Woodstock,’ and cleaning up after URGENT detectives reportedly made a mess when executing the search warrant.”

Richardson, a 70-year old former Connecticut truck driver who has become a visible summer presence in town, then heads for Bisbee, Arizona come winter, was arrested by members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (U.R.G.E.N.T.) and charged with four counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 4th degree, a class C felony; four counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th degree (intent to sell), a class D felony;  Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia 2nd degree.


Detective Lieutenant Ed Brewster of URGENT said that Richardson first drew the attention of police when he was the victim of a drug-related home invasion robbery back in June. Woodstock police, meanwhile, reported a steady stream of customers — including many who appeared to be high school age — in and out of Richardson’s home.

“That’s when they came to us,” said Brewster. “They said look, there’s lines outside this guy’s place. We’ve got to do something.”

A Woodstock police officer assigned to URGENT initiated the investigation. Undercover officers working with the task force allegedly bought hashish from Richardson on four separate occasions and that the search of Richardson’s residence last Friday turned up a number of illegally possessed pills in addition to hashish, electronic scales and drug packaging materials.

Richardson was arraigned in Town of Woodstock Justice Court before Justice Frank Engel and sent to the County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail and $100,000 property bond. Cash bail had been recommended at $100,000 by the county district attorney’s office because, Brewster said he’d heard, of the Bisbee residence and Richardson’s “affiliation with the Rainbow Family of Living Light.”

In addition to pot, the drugs involved were described only as “diverted pharmaceuticals.”

Over the weekend following Richardson’s arrest, a Fundly website to help with bail had been set up, with links — and much commentary — on several Facebook pages. There, in social media, local residents at first spoke about the onerous nature of pot busts, or asked about the possible “effects to flow” within the community. But soon enough, more comments came in about the various young Woodstockers seen coming and going from Richardson’s abode.

Further court dates have yet to be announced.

There are 12 comments

  1. rick oshay

    no one in town seems to feel the way others who don’t know him feel what is the lesson don’t sell drugs to anyone 50 yrs younger than you

  2. Rev. Martin Paul Cheney

    All over pot, this is like the most disgrace I have ever heard of when it is legal in 2 states for personal use and many other states for medical use the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (U.R.G.E.N.T.) as well and the Woodstock police department should be a shamed of what they did to this man and his life mate and the mess they made of their home. Dam Shame and a total waste of tax payers funds being used to house him in jail. I’ll make sure not to go to the town of Woodstock on my vacation and spend funds there in the shops which I use to love doing, now just tainted and I’ll make sure to tell other that uselly go there to skip it due to this shameful act on a old man trying to keep health by use pot……

    1. James Conley

      Hey genius, he was selling to kids. Don’t be an idiot. Good to get his ass off the street. He’s old enough to know better, period. More like ‘Grandpa Pusher’.

  3. David Green

    This so called Rev. Martin Paul Cheney is a conman jail bird reject sent straight from hell by the devil, beware of false prophets!

  4. Rob

    Wow.. What a major bust!! It’s so ridiculous… If you really want to make headline news…Go down to NYC and do some real narcotics busts.. Put your life on the line…. Yeah right… I didn’t think so!! ..Let this old historic Woodstock icon live the rest of his retirement out peacefully.. His social security probably isn’t even enough to survive.. Such a shame.. It’s absolutely pathetic.

  5. Lea Cullen Boyer

    Dealing drugs to children is just plain bad. He’s not historic, he’s not an icon he’s Allyn Richardson an ex-truck driver. If he sells drugs to children he should go to jail. Don’t let the tie dye blind you.

  6. Tom

    I wish people would keep us updated on Estar — I understand Grandpa is barred from seeing her and that is a horrible shame. People at this age should be left alone by the government unless they want to help, not hurt. I have known both these people since 2004 and they are harmless.. and anyone thinks that teens don’t find ways to get their weed are living under a rock because they are getting it mostly from their parents and in this case the teens were getting it for their parents from Grandpa. lol

    1. Lea Cullen Boyer

      It’s really hard to get a legal remedy for keeping predators away from the elderly, especially keeping elderly predators away from elderly prey. The court system has detailed information about the situation which we may not be privy.

      Also GW claims to be an unrepentant predator of kids, leveraging their interest in dope for his personal profit. Proclaiming to the New York Times that he deals dope to kids is bad for Woodstock’s economy, families, arts scene, not to mention the drug friendly under culture. It’s just plain bad business.

      Having buried two of our local boys from heroin overdoses in the last quarter is a stunning blow to the community. Those of us who knew these boys and their families are filled with immense sorrow. Reading the words of an openly predatory profiter trying to leverage the branding of the village, implying that he’s integral to the well being of community which he’s been draining, self proclaiming that he is “Grandpa Woodstock” is a damn shame.

      Don’t let tie dye camouflage fool you. Predators are predators. Dope dealers are not your friend.

      1. beep boopenstein

        This is going to sound crazy, Mrs. Boyer, but did you know that heroin isn’t actually the same thing as marijuana, and that equating the two in an attempt to paint this man as some kind of evil, deadly, predatory, profiteering drug pusher is morally disingenuous?

  7. Mr. Zig Zag

    Legalize It.

    Opioid deaths are down 6.4% in states where weed is medicinal and recreational like Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Maine.
    In the state of New York, Medicaid, not Medicare, Medicaid, allows a doctor to prescribe up to 360 (three-hundred and sixty) hydrocodone pills a month for needy patients for pain. That will kill you, if you took them all.

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