Police investigate death of man near tracks in G’town

GERMANTOWN—The dead body of a man was found next to the railroad tracks off Anchorage Road, December 21 at 8:21 a.m., according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.
The body was located just north of the Germantown Boat Launch on the east side of the tracks. Sheriff’s Office crime scene technicians were called in to process the scene.
The investigation is currently in the preliminary stages, officials said Monday. The cause of death has not yet been determined and the victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification to family members.
Rail service between Albany and New York City was not delayed during the investigation. Trains were instructed by Amtrak officials to proceed through the Germantown area at a reduced rate of speed.
At press time Tuesday afternoon, Lieutenant Wayne Lopez said neither autopsy results nor the man’s identity were ready for release.
Assisting with the investigation was Columbia County Coroner James Bertram and Amtrak Police.
Investigating on the scene for the Sheriff’s Office were Sheriff Bartlett, Undersheriff John Davi, Captain John DeRocha, Senior Investigator William Foster, Investigators William Dunspaugh and Reagan Anderson, Sergeant Eli Fieser and Deputy Cindy Madison.

The State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) in conjunction with members of State Police Troop F, Troop K, Troop T, the Hudson Police Department and the U.S. Probation Office, Northern District of New York conducted a narcotics investigation, which resulted in a traffic stop of a vehicle on State Route 23 in Catskill, December 9.
During a search of the vehicle, police found about one kilogram of cocaine with an estimated street value of $100,000 and $5,700 in cash.
The following subjects were charged:
*Jamaal Johnson, 38, of 22 Crockett Avenue, Troy, first degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), class A-1 felony
*LaQuasha Bowles, 26, of 15 North Fifth Street, Hudson, first degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), class A-1 felony, unlawful possession of marijuana and vehicle and traffic law violations.
Both subjects were arraigned in Catskill Town Court before Justice William R. Jacobs and sent to the Greene County Jail with no bail.
“We have powerful allies in law enforcement. I predict the flow of narcotics into our small city will continually be disrupted and the poison peddlers will increasingly risk arrest. Perhaps they will consider taking their trade elsewhere…there is a train leaving here every day. Kudos to the NYSP and our detectives who assisted them in their investigation,” Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.
*On December 14, Hudson Police charged Bruce Syrell, 18, of Albany and three juveniles with third degree burglary, second degree criminal mischief and third degree grand larceny (value greater than $3,000.) All the charges are class D felonies.
In the early morning hours of December 14, Hudson City School officials called the Hudson Police reporting that there was evidence of a break-in at the M.C. Smith Intermediate School at 99 Paddock Place. Officials reported that multiple glass windows and a door window were damaged.
The school video surveillance system was functioning and proved useful in this investigation. Once inside the school the suspects allegedly vandalized and damaged school property within the building. They pried open computerized cash registers, smashed vending machines, put holes in walls and pulled out the wiring for the registers.
In addition to the vandalism the youths allegedly stole at least 11 of the school’s Dell laptop computers, vending machine snacks, and wrapped children Christmas presents that were part of charitable donations for children in need.
Detectives were able to find the stolen goods in various locations, most items were damaged. The youths allegedly broke into the school more than once on the same day. They allegedly discarded one of the laptop computers in the Underhill Pond. Detective Nicolas Pierro went into the water and recovered the school computer.
School officials estimate the theft and damage to school at more than $17,000.
Detective with assistance of patrols arrested Mr. Syrell without incident on the 200 block of Allen Street.
He appeared before Hudson City Court Judge Mark Portin and was jailed in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or bond. He was to appear in court again at a later date.
The juvenile felony arrests are scheduled with the Columbia County Probation/Family Court. HPD was also assisted by the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.
“We believe 100% of the stolen items were recovered, including all the gifts for needy children. All of the perpetrators were located and arrested. I am proud that our department wrapped this all up within hours of the report,” Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.

Correy L. Burden, 39, of Philmont was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; third degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle (traffic infraction) by Deputies Joseph Bruno and Jason Garvey, December 1 at 1:23 a.m.
Mr. Burden was stopped on State Route 217. He is accused of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, being in possession of a quantity of cocaine, being in possession of a stun gun and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was issued appearance tickets returnable in Philmont Village Court at a later date..

Timothy M. Bragan, 33, of Claverack was charged with second degree criminal impersonation, class A misdemeanor; unlawful possession of marijuana and unlicensed operation, both violations, by Sheriff’s Office First Sergeant Louis Bray, December 11 at 8:34 a.m.
Mr. Bragan allegedly provided a false name to the sergeant when he was arrested for marijuana possession and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended Massachusetts license on State Route 9. He was issued appearance tickets returnable in Kinderhook Town Court at a later date.

David O’Connor, 50, of Ancram was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), a class D felony and first degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a class E felony, by State Police from the Livingston barracks, December 13
Troopers stopped Mr. O’Connor on State Route 82 for several vehicle and traffic violations and subsequently found that he was intoxicated at the time of the stop.
He was charged with felony DWI because his criminal history revealed that he was convicted of two DWI-related offenses in the previous 10 years. Additionally, he was driving with revoked New York State driving privileges.
Mr. O’Connor was arraigned in Livingston Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail. He is due to appear in Gallatin Court in January.

To contact Diane Valden email


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Ganzowskis are Santa’s helpers
In the spirit of the season, December 16 the Ganzowski family of Stockport gave a mobile home to the Lippman family of Ghent, whose own mobile home in the Rolling Hills Mobile Home Park, 1823 County Route 21, was gutted by fire December 11. Pictured turning over the keys are back (l-r), Shavon Ganzowski, Bennay Ganzowski and Carmello Ganzowski; front, Maddox Lippman, 3, Ray Lippman, Ashley Crandall (fiancee) and Michael Lippman, 7. The Lippmans have been living in temporary housing provided by the Red Cross. Photo by Lance Wheeler
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Self-cleaning oven blamed for fire
A Claverack family evacuated their 250 Route 217 home Sunday, December 20 after a fire broke out in the kitchen area at 1:49 p.m. The home belongs to Tim McNamee, according to Claverack Fire Chief Michael Cozzolino.
One fireman was injured after the ceiling in the home collapsed on him. Greenport and Mellenville firefighters provided mutual aid to the Claverack department. The Greenport Rescue Squad was also on scene. Philmont Police assisted with traffic control. Officials say the fire was caused by a self-cleaning oven. Fire damage was confined to the kitchen with smoke damage throughout the home. Firefighters were back in service 3:10 p.m. Photo by Lance Wheeler

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