Kinderhook store robbed at gunpoint

KINDERHOOK–The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reports a robbery occurred at the Cobble Pond Farms, 3360 Route 9, November 4 at 7:26 p.m.

County 911 dispatched deputies to the convenience store for a report that an unknown male subject entered the store, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect then fled the store on foot after taking an undisclosed amount of money. Deputies, a Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, and State Police units conducted a search of the area surrounding the store. No arrests had been made as of press time.

Sheriff’s Office personnel investigating at the scene were Captain David Bartlett, Senior Investigator Kevin Skype, Investigator Anthony Brahm, Deputy Louis Bray, Deputy Jeffrey Hofstetter and K9 Deputy Travis VanAlstyne.

The investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Branch at 518 828-4316.

*State Police from Livingston were called to the Cobble Pond Farm gas station to investigate a report of a larceny, allegedly committed by an employee, Monday, September 2 at about 6:16 a.m.

Following a lengthy police investigation, an employee of the gas station, Elvira O’Rourke, 37, of Schodack Landing was charged with first degree falsifying business records, a class E felony, and third degree forgery, a class A misdemeanor. Ms. O’Rourke had allegedly been signing business documents stating that she was working when in fact she was not.

She was arrested October 22, 2013 at 9:49 p.m., arraigned before Kinderhook Justice David Dellehunt and was released on her own recognizance.

*Nathaniel W. Vincent, 26, of Green Island was charged with fourth degree criminal mischief (class A misdemeanor) and petit larceny (class A misdemeanor), by Deputy Joshua Oakes, September 29 at 10:32 p.m. Mr. Vincent allegedly damaged a door at a location in Valatie and then stole a sign from the property. He was arraigned in Kinderhook Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He was scheduled to appear at a later date.

Stuyvesant

State troopers from Kinderhook were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the area of County Route 26A, November 4.

Trooper Chad Drozd answered the call and began to investigate. When he arrived, he saw the vehicle in question parked in a suspicious place.

He approached the area and saw Robert McCormick, 43, of Niverville and Brandon Labelle, 18, of Niverville walking around an unoccupied building.

Following interviews and investigation it was revealed that Trooper Drozd had thwarted a burglary in progress. The two defendants were taken into custody at the scene.

Livingston State Police investigators responded to the scene and assisted in processing the evidence and took over the investigation.

Mr. McCormick and Mr. Labelle were each charged with third degree burglary, a class D felony.

They were arraigned in Stuyvesant Court. Mr. McCormick was sent to the county jail without bail. Mr. Labelle was jailed in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond.

Both are set to return to court on November 7.

Drugs/alcohol

The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Jonathan Loyola, 27, of Germantown was charged with speeding and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation by State Police from Rhinebeck, September 21. Troopers saw the Loyola vehicle traveling on the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge at a high rate of speed. When they interviewed Mr. Loyola, they found him to allegedly be in possession of marijuana. He was issued appearance tickets.

*Justin James, 39, of Massachusetts, was charged with speeding and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation by State Police from Livingston, September 21. Mr. James was found to be in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop that was initiated after troopers saw him traveling at a high rate of speed in Austerlitz. He was issued tickets to appear in Austerlitz Court at a later date.

*Alexander A. Tine, 22, of Chatham, was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated (operating with blood alcohol content greater than .18%) by Deputies Kelly Briscoe and Joshua Oakes, September 23 at 7:42 p.m. Deputies were called to the area of Albany Turnpike for a complaint involving Mr. Tine. They administered field sobriety tests which he failed. He was arraigned in Chatham Town Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $500 bail.

*Sean Conway, 21, of Norwood, MA, was charged with third degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class E felony; two counts of seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, September 24 at 11:26 a.m. Troopers initiated a traffic stop on the Conway vehicle when they saw it traveling in excess of 75 miles per hour on the Taconic State Parkway in Milan. While interviewing the driver they detected a strong odor of marijuana. Among the illegal drugs seized from Mr. Conway were: 374.9 grams of marijuana, 0.7 grams of cocaine, and a partial Percocet pill. He was arraigned in Milan Court and sent to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. He was scheduled to re-appear in court at a later date.

*Daniel C. Stevens, 34, of Middletown was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and having an inadequate headlamp by State Police from Livingston, September 24 at 7:43 p.m. Mr. Stevens was found to allegedly have marijuana after he was pulled over in Livingston for a headlamp problem. He was issued tickets ordering him to appear in Livingston Court at a later date.

*Christopher G. Stevens, 27, of Stephentown was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle by State Police from New Lebanon, September 25. Troopers pulled Mr. Stevens over on State Route 20, New Lebanon and subsequently determined he was wanted on a New Lebanon Court warrant for failure to answer a vehicle and traffic law summons. He was arraigned before Justice Jessica Byrne and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond.

*Patricia Feeley, 43, of Poughquag was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated by State Police, September 28 at 1:15 p.m. Troopers were assigned to a traffic complaint about an erratic vehicle traveling north on the Taconic State Parkway. They located the vehicle and stopped it on the parkway in Gallatin. Troopers detected an odor of alcohol and administered sobriety tests which Ms. Feeley could not perform. A breath test resulted in a .24% blood alcohol content. Ms. Feeley was issued tickets returnable in Gallatin Justice Court, October16.

*Ralph E. Gibson, II, 34, of Nassau and Brian Carey, 30, of Old Chatham were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana by State Police from New Lebanon, September 29. Troopers stopped Mr. Gibson on Route 20, New Lebanon for having an obstructed license plate. Troopers subsequently found both men to allegedly be in possession of marijuana. Mr. Gibson was also issued tickets for an obstructed plate and an inoperable horn. Both men were to appear in New Lebanon Court at a later date.

*Lee A. Murray, 24, of Greenport was charged with the unlawful growing of cannabis, a class A misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, September 30 at 4:15 p.m. Troopers received an anonymous tip about an alleged marijuana growing operation in Greenport and subsequently found Mr. Murray to allegedly be in possession of the plants. He was issued tickets returnable in Greenport Court.

*Jessica L. Darmetko, 28, of Stuyvesant was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated by State Police from Kinderhook, October 1. Troopers stopped Ms. Darmetko in Stockport for vehicle and traffic law violations and subsequently found her to be intoxicated. Her blood alcohol content was .20%, more than twice the legal limit. She was issued tickets to appear in Stockport Court, October 21.

*Nicole L. Webster, 35, of Stuyvesant was charged with fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony; second degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, October 5 at 3:30 p.m. Troopers stopped Ms. Webster on State Route 66, Ghent because her vehicle had an inoperable brake lamp. During an interview, troopers detected the odor of marijuana and found her to allegedly possess cocaine and marijuana. She was arraigned in Ghent Court and released on her own recognizance, to reappear October 21.

*Harpal Singh, 48, of Claverack was charged with driving while intoxicated by State Police from Livingston, October 8 at 8:06 p.m. During the investigation of an accident on Stottville Road, Claverack, Mr. Singh was found to be intoxicated. He was issued tickets ordering him to appear in Claverack Court, October 22.

To contact Diane Valden .

DiNapoli: Hudson fire official stole $34k

HUDSON–The former president of C. H. Evans Hook and Ladder Fire Company #3 misused the company’s debit card to make personal purchases totaling about $34,000, according to an audit recently released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Joseph Morrison, Jr., pleaded guilty October 29 in Columbia County Court to third degree grand larceny, a class D felony.

“Stealing public money in such a carefree manner is appalling. Residents pay for this fire company to keep their families and their homes safe, not to fund this individual’s excessive lifestyle. It’s unfortunate that my office continues to uncover situations such as this where public funds are stolen because proper checks and balances are not in place. Thankfully, my staff was able to work closely with Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka and his staff to ensure this individual was held accountable,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a press release.

“I am pleased that Comptroller DiNapoli was able to uncover this blatant misuse of fire company money. Thanks to the comptroller’s audit and investigation, and the work of the city of Hudson Police Department and Chief Edward Moore, my office was able secure a guilty plea and hold this individual responsible for his criminal conduct. This type of cooperation should reassure residents that their best interests are being protected,” Mr. Czajka said in the release.

The comptroller’s audit and investigation found that from October 2009 through December 2012, Mr. Morrison used $34,000 in company funds to purchase items such as an iPad, bunk beds, jewelry, an aquarium and a variety of power tools. Of that total, 82 online transactions totaling $4,100 were made for pornography.

Morrison’s illegal purchases also included: $7,342 in ATM withdrawals; $3,378 for personal telephone, utility and cable television expenses; $3,064 for rental furniture; $2,000 for car repairs; $2,200 for gas station and grocery store purchases.

In addition, auditors and investigators estimate Mr. Morrison may have stolen as much as $5,600 in fundraising donations. He also made 73 purchases and cash withdrawals totaling more than $7,500 that appear questionable.

Mr. Morrison, who is employed in the city of Hudson’s Public Works Department, is due back in Columbia County court on March 4 for sentencing.

Mr. DiNapoli made a number of recommendations to fire company officials in the audit. They include: seek reimbursement for the misappropriated funds; develop internal controls over cash disbursement; ensure the company treasurer maintains detailed cash receipt and disbursement records; develop policies and procedures for use of debit cards; review all invoices and ensure that monthly bank reconciliations are completed; develop internal controls to ensure that all collections are accounted for and deposited; review bank records to ensure that transactions listed agree with disbursements approved.

For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/firedists/2013/chevanshookladder3.pdf

Court cases:

The following court cases were recently dealt with in Columbia County Court. Information about the cases was provided by the office of Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka:

*Christopher Vanterpool was convicted on his plea of guilty to second degree burglary before County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 18. He was represented by Attorney John Leonardson and was arrested by Hudson Police April 25. His sentencing is set for November 20.

*Megan Couse, (co-defendant Jason Russ), was convicted on her plea of guilty to third degree burglary before County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 18. She was represented by Attorney Dennis McEvoy and was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office June 4. Her sentencing is set for November 20.

*Jason Russ, (co-defendant Megan Couse), was convicted on his plea of guilty to second degree burglary before County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 18. He was represented by the public defender and was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office June 4. His sentencing is set for November 20.

*Alysha Narzynski was convicted on her plea of guilty to fourth degree conspiracy before County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 18. She was represented by Attorney Mark Portin and was arrested January 17, 2012 by the State Police. Her sentencing is set for November 20.

*Martin McCredie, Jr., (co-defendant Robert Dandridge, Jr.), was convicted on his plea of guilty to one count of second degree robbery and nine counts of second degree burglary before County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 18. He was represented by the public defender and was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office December 6, 2012. Sentencing is set for November 22.

*Robert Dandridge, Jr., (co-defendant Martin McCredie, Jr.) was convicted on his plea of guilty to one count of second degree robbery and four counts of second degree burglary before County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 18. He was represented by Attorney John Leonardson and was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office November 16, 2012. Sentencing is set for November 22. -Diane Valden

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