Random checks net two sex offenders not registered in city

HUDSON—Hudson Police conducted a random residence check February 6 on all registered sex offenders who list the city as their residence.

Of the 20 listed sex offenders, two were found to be in violation of the conditions set forth by the state Sex Offender Registry.

William Fernandez, 43, of Columbia Turnpike, Castleton and James J. Scott, 26, of Cauterskill Avenue, Catskill were charged with failing to register and provide their current address according to provisions of the registry in Albany.

Mr. Fernandez was arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge Mark Portin and jailed without bail. He is scheduled to return to court at a later date.

Mr. Scott was arraigned in City Court before Judge John Connor. His bail was set at $1,000 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is also scheduled to make a return court appearance.

Hudson detectives and officers were assisted by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, the Columbia County District Attorney, Catskill Police and the Columbia County Probation Department.


Thomas Cesternino, 22, of Ghent was charged with five counts of first degree sex abuse, a class D felony, by State Police criminal investigators from Livingston, January 28.

Following a lengthy investigation by State Police investigators with the assistance of the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, it is alleged that Mr. Cesternino subjected a child under the age of 11 to sexual physical contact. The alleged offenses occurred between 2008 and 2009.

Mr. Cesternino was arraigned in Livingston Court before Justice Robert Moore. He was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail and was scheduled to reappear in Livingston Court at a later date.


State Police from the Livingston barracks responded to a call about a 20-year-old woman was not breathing, February 7 at 6:56 p.m.

Upon his arrival at the Middle Road residence, Trooper Andrew Behrens saw the unconscious victim on the ground near the front door of the residence. He assessed the woman and determined she was not breathing. He then began CPR and attached an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The victim regained consciousness and the Greenport Rescue Squad took her to Columbia Memorial Hospital, where she is expected to make a full recovery.


The Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office removed 39 German Shepherds from two homes in Durham, Greene County, February 9.

The dogs, which ranged in age from two-weeks-old to seven-years-old, were living in their own waste in small crates, according to a press release from humane society officials, who described the scene as one of the most deplorable living conditions ever witnessed by investigators.

All the dogs were found to be dehydrated and thin.

Dawn Verdeschi, 44, was renting one of the homes and owned the other. She was charged with one count of animal cruelty. An investigation into the situation is continuing. All 39 dogs were surrendered to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA in Claverack, and are available for adoption.

People interested in adopting one of these dogs, should visit the shelter’s website at www.cghs.org and fill out a pre-approval application, or call the shelter at 518 828-6044.

New Lebanon

John Sandifer, 56, of Pittsfield, MA, was charged with two counts of fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana by State Police from New Lebanon, January 31.

Troopers pulled Mr. Sandifer over on State Route 20, New Lebanon. He was arraigned in New Lebanon Court before Justice Jack Nevers and was released on $300 cash bail. He is to return to New Lebanon Court March 12.


Marlena L. Miller, 36, of Ghent was charged with second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class D felony, by Deputy Bernard Roberts, January 17 at 8:24 a.m.

Ms. Miller is accused of possessing a forged check. She was arraigned in Chatham Village Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail. She was scheduled to return to court at a later date.


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

* Jason E. McCagg, 18, of Hudson was charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, January 27 at 9:12 p.m. Troopers pulled Mr. McCagg over in Greenport after they saw him fully stopped at a green traffic signal.

He was also found to be in possession of marijuana and was issued tickets ordering him to appear in Greenport Court.

*Bashir A. Kocer, 34, of Rotterdam was charged with third degree criminal possession of marijuana by State Police from Livingston, February 8.

Troopers stopped Mr. Kocer on the Taconic State Parkway in Claverack for speeding and other traffic infractions. During an interview of the driver, a strong odor of marijuana was detected. A partially-burnt marijuana cigar and about 15 ounces of marijuana were found in the vehicle. Mr. Kocer was issued tickets to appear in Claverack Court February 25.

*John S. Heyer, 26, of East Chatham was charged with driving while intoxicated by State Police at New Lebanon, February 10.

Mr. Heyer was operating a vehicle on County Route 9, Austerlitz in the area of Long View Drive at a speed that was unsafe for conditions when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed. During an investigation, troopers determined that Mr. Heyer was intoxicated. He provided a breath sample with a 0.17% blood alcohol content and was issued tickets returnable in Austerlitz Court.


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