Niverville man faces 18-year sentence for drug overdose deaths

ALBANY—A Columbia County man pleaded guilty in connection with two overdose deaths.

Jacob Ebel, 32, of Niverville pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and possession charges in United States District Court, Northern District of NY, September 11.

Mr. Ebel admitted that he distributed heroin and fentanyl to two people who took the drugs and then died in Columbia County in July 2016.

He agreed to be sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The announcement was made in a press release by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, Northern District of NY; New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett; and Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

“Jacob Ebel was a merchant of death whose heroin and fentanyl killed two people in less than three weeks. Thanks to the quick and thorough work of our law enforcement partners, Ebel is being held responsible for his crimes and the pain and suffering he inflicted on two families. We will continue to pursue those who peddle this poison, while also maintaining our robust education and outreach efforts aimed at turning the tide of opiate addiction,” U.S. Attorney Jaquith said in the release.

“There should be zero tolerance for those who peddle poison on our streets. These dealers are killers and we will continue to work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to bring them to justice for their heinous behavior. I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York State Police, Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka and members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office who all worked collaboratively to deliver justice in this case,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release.

In pleading guilty, Mr. Ebel admitted to selling heroin, fentanyl and other controlled substances from 2014 through July 26, 2016 in Columbia County.

Mr. Ebel admitted to dealing heroin and fentanyl, first to a man identified in the release as SB, who overdosed July 3, 2016 and died five days later, and then to a woman identified as SS, who overdosed and died July 23, 2016.

SB, age 29, overdosed and was found unconscious in Niverville July 3, 2016, less than a mile from Mr. Ebel’s house. A State Police investigation established that prior to the overdose, SB had had extensive text message communications with Mr. Ebel, and that he sold heroin and fentanyl to SB at about 2:15 p.m. July 3, 2016, several hours before SB was found unresponsive. Inside SB’s vehicle, State Police found a folded, yellow sticky note with heroin and fentanyl, and “4-0” written on the outside—the amount of money that SB told the defendant he had in the text message conversations.

The release said, Mr. Ebel and SB were friends and that Mr. Ebel knew that SB had died, but kept dealing heroin and fentanyl.

On the morning of July 23, 2016, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) responded to a house in Stuyvesant, and found SS dead. Investigators found three folded sticky notes in a small plastic bag on her bed; the notes contained heroin and fentanyl. The CCSO investigation established that Mr. Ebel sold heroin and fentanyl to SS’s husband in the days prior to her death, and that SS, age 19, had taken these drugs and died.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Mr. Ebel’s house in the early morning hours of July 26, 2016. Investigators seized about 16 grams of heroin and fentanyl that he intended to sell. He was arrested that day and has been in custody ever since.

In his plea agreement, Mr. Ebel agreed to be sentenced to 216 months, or 18 years, in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino will decide whether to accept or reject the recommended sentence on or before the January 8, 2020 sentencing date. If Judge D’Agostino does not agree with an 18-year sentence, Mr. Ebel will be allowed to withdraw his plea and the case will proceed to trial, the release said.

This case was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the State Police from Troop K and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the office of Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

Greenport

Two people from Kinderhook were arrested for using forged currency.

State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Christopher G. Stevens, 32, and Julia P. Wojkowski, 26, both of Kinderhook for 11 counts of first degree possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny, both class A misdemeanors, September 12.

While on patrol, troopers were notified by staff at Cumberland Farms in Stockport that two suspects had used fake U.S. currency to purchase items in the store, and the store manager had just seen them in the Walmart parking lot in Greenport.

Troopers patrolled to Walmart, found the suspects, and alerted Walmart staff for the potential use of forged currency. The two suspects, identified as Mr. Stevens and Ms. Wojkowski, were stopped after leaving the store with stolen merchandise. Further investigation found they were in possession of six counterfeit 20 dollar bills, five sheets of paper with printed counterfeit 20 dollar bills, about 2.2 grams of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine pills, and a small amount of suboxone.

Both suspects were arraigned before in the City of Hudson Court. Mr. Stevens was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail, and Ms. Wojkowski was released to the custody of the Columbia County Sherriff’s Office for pending charges in the Stockport.

Hudson

City police are looking for a suspect in an assault/robbery incident.

Hudson Police received a call from Columbia County 911 reporting a “mugging” had just occurred in front of 15 North Sixth Street, Sunday, September 16 shortly before midnight.

Patrols responded immediately to the area and found the injured victim, a Hudson woman in her late 50s. She told police that she was walking home from work when a tall, thin, black male wearing a hoodie, who appeared to be in his 20s, followed her up the street. The suspect allegedly ordered the woman to, “give me your purse” and began physically attacking her. She sustained serious injuries and the Greenport Rescue Squad took her to the Columbia Memorial Hospital emergency department. The victim was later transferred to Albany Medical Center for additional treatment. The injuries are not considered life threatening.

During the attack the suspect allegedly forcibly stole the victim’s purse. Items inside the purse included a cell phone, passport and numerous credit cards. The victim reportedly did not know her attacker.

The suspect ran away, west on Warren Street, just prior to police arrival on the scene.

Hudson detectives are currently assigned this investigation and leads are being updated.

Anyone with further information to share with police concerning the incident is asked to contact the Hudson Police Department, Detective Division at 518-828-3388.

*Owen Kilmer, 50, of Hudson was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputies Peter Merante and John Sullivan September 5 at 10 a.m. Mr. Kilmer is accused of violating an order of protection. He was arraigned in Greenport Court and was released on his own recognizance with a later return court date.

To contact Diane Valden email

Child car seats checked at Kohl’s

GREENPORT—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office plans a Child Passenger Safety Seat Check event in the Kohl’s Department Store parking lot, 488 Fairview Avenue, Saturday, September 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Parents and caregivers will receive one-to-one installation guidance and safety education from nationally certified child passenger safety technicians at no charge.

Child safety seats will be provided, while supplies last, to low-income families who have a need for them and meet guidelines set by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

Applicants must meet the following guidelines before a child safety seat is provided:

*Must have his or her vehicle present

*Must meet income eligibility requirements

*Must receive education on child passenger safety

*Must complete the manufacturer’s warranty card

*Must sign an agreement form and waiver of liability form.

Call a certified child passenger safety technician at 518-828-3344 for more information or visit the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office website at www.columbiacountysheriff.us/childseatsafety.html

Light a candle in remembrance. Service Unit 126 of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York and troop leader Amy Griesemer hosted a Columbia County remembrance ceremony for the 18th anniversary of 9/11 at the memorial in Kinderhook’s Volunteer Park, September 11. Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D-106th) and Kinderhook Town Councilwoman Sally Hogan were guest speakers. The event included a song and a candlelight vigil to remember those lost. Also in attendance were the Columbia County Sheriff, State Police, fire departments, scouts and many community members, who will never forget. Photo by RE Lindmark

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