As mom’s eviction looms, deputies find infant alone

HUDSON—When Sheriff’s deputies arrived to evict a woman from her residence, they found a one-year-old child alone there in a crib.

Nichole Potter, 27, of Seventh Street was charged with endangering welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, by Sheriff’s Office First Sergeant John Rivero and Deputy Jason Garvey, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

On November 28, deputies went to evict Ms. Potter from her Hudson residence. When they entered the home, deputies found a one-year old child alone and unattended in a crib.

Ms. Potter was arraigned before Justice Robert Brenzel in Greenport Court and released on her own recognizance. She was to appear in Hudson City Court at a later date

“An incident like this could have ended tragically if not for the quick actions of the deputies. I would like to commend Sergeant Rivero and Deputy Garvey for their keen observation in locating the infant inside the residence,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Columbia County Child Protective Services personnel.


Lights that keep plants growing in the absence of sunlight sparked a basement fire that led to the discovery of an indoor pot growing operation.

Germantown firefighters were called to a reported fire in the basement at 94 Block Factory Road, November 25 at about 11:39 a.m. Sheriff’s deputies also responded to the scene to assist, according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke in the basement of the one-family home. A small fire in a back basement room was quickly extinguished by firefighters, who discovered that the fire started in lighting equipment that had been used in a marijuana growing operation.

Deputies were notified and their subsequent investigation determined that a Joel A. Germano, Jr., 31, was responsible for a two-room indoor marijuana crop. The elaborate growing system consisted of lighting and climate control equipment, as well as irrigation and air filtration apparatus. Deputies seized 28 small marijuana plants as part of their investigation. Mr. Germano was charged with one misdemeanor count of illegally growing cannabis under the Public Health Law and was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Germantown Court December 17.


Heather Dallas, 29, of Kinderhook was charged with two counts of second degree possession of a forged instrument, a class D felony, and two counts of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation from the Livingston barracks, November 20 at 12:53 p.m.

State Police investigated a fraud complaint that occurred at the Price Choppers in Greenport and Ghent.

On October 17, Ms. Dallas allegedly presented a check for payment at the Greenport Price Chopper. She received $200 as a result of the transaction. Two hours later, she presented another check at the Ghent Price Chopper in the amount of $457.28. Both checks were later returned to the businesses as counterfeit.

Ms. Dallas was arraigned in Greenport Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or $2,500 bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled at a later date.

Home destroyed, dog perishes

A Stuyvesant man is homeless and his dog is dead after fire quickly swept through his home at 433 Sharptown Road, Saturday morning, November 29. The owner, who was not identified, reported the fire at 5:53 a.m. when he returned to his raised-ranch style home. Stuyvesant Fire Chief Steve Monthie said the fire was fully-involved when he arrived. The owner tried to go inside the house to save his dog but the flames and smoke were too intense. His dog perished in the fire. The accidental fire started near the chimney in the back of the house. The county and town highway departments were called to sand the road. Valatie Rescue took one firefighter to Albany Memorial for treatment of a shoulder injury. Mutual aid was provided by Stuyvesant Falls, Stockport, Kinderhook, Valatie, Niverville and Tri-Village. Heavy equipment was scheduled to demolish the building. The Columbia County Cause and Origin Team is investigating. Firefighters cleared the scene at 11:46 a.m.

Blaze damages Pond Lane home

Columbia County 911 dispatched Canaan firefighters and Chatham Rescue to a fire in a two-story house at 6 Pond Lane, Canaan, November 28 at 2:02 p.m. The Canaan Task Force was called in bringing mutual aid from Lebanon Valley, East Chatham and Red Rock. Additional mutual aid was requested from Richmond and West Stockbridge, MA, Chatham and Tri-Village. The blaze was knocked down at 2:52 p.m. Columbia County Fire Coordinators were on the scene. Sheriff’s deputies assisted. The Canaan Highway Department responded with a sand truck. The fire is under investigation by the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team. Firefighters were back in service at 7:32 p.m.


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

*Justin A. Crowley, 26, of Schoharie was charged with fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (stimulants) and third degree aggravated unlicensed operation by Hudson Police Officer Patrick Meister at 92 Union Turnpike, Hudson, October 28 at 4:09 p.m. Mr. Crowley was pulled over and his license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State was found to be suspended. He was allegedly in possession of a clear bag containing 3.5 grams of a white powdery substance which field-tested positive for cocaine. He was arraigned before Judge Marc Portin in Hudson City Court and sent to jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond.

*Mia Gabriel, 26, of Hudson was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs by Hudson Police Officer Dean Rowe at 321 State Street, Hudson, November 4 at 4:18 p.m. Ms. Gabriel was allegedly operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. She was issued a ticket returnable in Hudson City Court November 25.

*John P. Morgan, 38, of Mellenville was charged on an arrest warrant for seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana by Hudson Police Officer Jeffrey Keyser at the police station, November 13 at 8:38 a.m. The arrest stems from a previous traffic stop during which Mr. Morgan was arrested on a violation of probation warrant. At that time he allegedly possessed a controlled substance and marijuana. He was arraigned before Hudson City Court Judge Marc Portin and was released on his own recognizance to reappear at a later date.

*Shayne Ashley, 24, of Catskill was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor) and Mohamed Morshed, 23, of Hudson was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor) and a vehicle and traffic law violation for tinted glass by Hudson Police Detective Jeffrey Keyser and Patrolman Kevin Sweet, November 20 at 12:44 p.m. Mr. Morshed was the driver of black 2008 Mercedes Benz which was pulled over by the officers in the vicinity of 22 Fairview Avenue.

Mr. Ashley allegedly had 20 packets of heroin on his person and 79 oxycodone pills were found in Mr. Morshed’s car. Both men were arraigned before Hudson City Court Judge John Connor and sent to the Columbia County Jail. Mr. Ashley’s bail was set at $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond; Mr. Morshed’s at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. Both were to return to court at a later date.

*Peter E. Stelling, 61, of Canaan was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated by State Police from New Lebanon, November 18 at 7:57 p.m. Troopers pulled over Mr. Stelling on Albany Turnpike, Chatham, for failing to maintain his lane of travel. After further investigation, State Police determined he was intoxicated. He provided a breath sample revealing a .20% blood alcohol content. He was issued tickets returnable in Chatham Town Court December 10.

*Kelly A. Mazzuchelli, 50, of Scarsdale was charged with felony driving while intoxicated (prior DWI conviction in 2008), by State Police from Livingston, November 17 at 3:48 p.m. Troopers stopped the Mazzuchelli vehicle traveling on County Route 7, Copake after they saw the driver using a cell phone. Their investigation revealed that she was intoxicated. She was arraigned in Copake Court and released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to reappear in court December 22.

*Tara L. Sherman, 29, of Stephentown was charged with felony driving while intoxicated (previous DWI conviction) by State Police from New Lebanon, November 21 at 11:25 p.m. Troopers stopped Ms. Sherman after she failed to obey a stop sign posted at the intersection of Old Route 20 and Route 22, New Lebanon. During an interview Ms. Sherman displayed indications that she was intoxicated at the time of the stop. She was also charged with unlawful possession of marihuana, a violation, when she was found to possess less than two grams of marijuana. Her breath sample that yielded a blood alcohol content of .15%. She was issued tickets ordering her to appear in New Lebanon Court December 4.

To contact Diane Valden email




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