GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local gym is speaking out after its owner was accused of having cocaine during a traffic stop.
“It’s a lot of confusion. A lot of conflicting emotions of anger and sadness and disbelief and we’re working with the kids to try to make sense of this,” Stacey Angell, Global Fitness Co-Owner, said.
Angell is trying explain to young athletes why a man they look up to was arrested over the weekend.
State Police say co-owner of Global Fitness 28-year-old Gordon ‘Denny’ Wilhelm was in possession of more than one pound of cocaine during a traffic stop along the Northway. He’s been charged with criminal possession of cocaine and criminal possession with intent to sell.
Wilhelm is a former basketball player at Glens Falls High School also runs a program at the gym called Athletic Academy, training dozens of area athletes ages 5 to college level.
“He has been dealing with his own personal stuff so he hasn’t been at the gym for a while,” Angell said.
A representative for Global Fitness says Wilhelm has been open about his struggles with addiction. The gym says it’s using this as a learning situation. A note on the gym door alerting parents about an informational meeting at the gym Monday night.
“We want these kids to understand the dangers of drugs and the horrors that they can bring. We want these kids to understand that there are role models. We have safe people here.”
Fay Gorton says her daughter trains with Wilhelm.
“She views Denny as a role model. She attributes her academics and her athletic success to his encouragement,” Gorton said.
Police say this isn’t the first time Wilhelm has been arrested for drugs. In 2011 he was arrested and later pleaded guilty to criminal possession of heroin and was released on probation.
“If the allegations are true that he obviously would need some sort of rehabilitation intervention but at no time did my daughter ever feel that she was in danger.”
Wilhelm remains at the Warren County Jail without bail.
Full statement by Athletic Academy:
“The Athletic Academy at Global Fitness is very saddened to learn of the recent arrest of member, Gordon “Denny” Wilhelm. Denny has been a valuable part of our program for the past few years and has been instrumental in helping many throughout our community reach a higher level of physical fitness. His personal battles with addiction are something that he’s spoken publicly about to several groups in the past. Unfortunately, addiction got the best of Denny in this instance, he made a bad choice, and he will now have to face the consequences of his choice. Our thoughts, prayers, and support are with Denny and his family at this difficult time.
This situation is more proof that our community is not immune to the drug activity which is plaguing many other communities across our Country right now. Preventative education that prohibits engagement in drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is a pillar of our existence. Thus, our ownership team will become even more vigilant to influence and inspire others to lead a life of the good character and health needed to actualize ones full spiritual, mental, and physical abilities – in both athletics and in life.
AJDP Holding Corporation, the group that owns and operates The Athletic Academy and Global Fitness in Glens Falls, NY will continue to run the business as usual. We will work closely and tirelessly with law enforcement, medical professionals, school administrators, the media, parents, and students in collective effort to help prevent these types of tragic situations from happening here in our community. We are grateful to our clients for their loyalty and the supportive calls, texts, and emails we’ve received.”