Long Island Priest Whose Sister Was Beheaded Arrested on Crack Charges

The cleric allegedly told arresting officers "I have been smoking crack cocaine since my sister was murdered"

Nassau County Police/File

A Long Island priest whose sister was beheaded in 2014 was arrested on drug possession charges Tuesday and allegedly told arresting officers that he had "been smoking crack cocaine since my sister was murdered," according to police and court documents.

The Rev. Robert Lubrano, a Roman Catholic priest who isn't currently assigned to a church, was booked on drug possession charges after Nassau County Police say they saw the 63-year-old purchase something from 32-year-old Michael Oyola outside the Bethpage Motel in Bethpage early Wednesday.

Authorities say that they stopped Lubrano as he was going into a motel room after the purchase. They searched him, allegedly finding a substance thought to be crack and what appeared to be a used crack pipe. The priest was then placed under arrest.

According to court documents, Lubrano told the arresting officers "I have been smoking crack cocaine since my sister was murdered."

Lubrano's sister, Patricia Ward, a college professor, was beheaded last October by her son, who later committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Center said that Lubrano was ordained in 1985 and has been on "authorized leave" for at least the last five years. He served with parishes in Roosevelt and Hempstead and has occassional celebrated Mass at a Wyandanch church. 

Oyola drove off after the exchange with Lubrano and was arrested on drug possession charges during a traffic stop. Authorities allege that he had marijuana in his car.

Attorney information wasn't immediately available for Lubrano or Oyola. Lubrano was expected to be arraigned on Wednesday; Oyola was released with a ticket to return to court later this month. 

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