Deputies charge four in connection with counterfeit bills

GREENPORT—Four Brooklyn men were arrested for using and possessing counterfeit money, November 7 at 4 p.m.

Columbia County 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies and Greenport Police to the Walmart Store on Fairview Avenue at 11:22 a.m. When they got there patrols interviewed, Walmart Loss Prevention personnel who advised them that two male subjects had just attempted to purchase gift cards using counterfeit money. One of the subjects was able to make the transaction and get out of the store before the money was found to be fake. The other male subject was turned away at the cash register by a Walmart employee as he was attempting to purchase cards with the money. He too, left the store.

Patrols were also advised that a third male subject was in the store at the same time near the gift card rack and was approached by Loss Prevention workers. When asked if he needed any help the man abruptly left the store as well. Patrols quickly obtained a description of all three men as well as the vehicle they got into and left the parking lot in. This information was broadcast to other patrols in the area.

A vehicle matching the description of the one that left Walmart was stopped by K9 Deputy Travis VanAlstyne on Stottville Road near the intersection of State Route 66 in Claverack. The vehicle was found to have four men inside with three of them matching the descriptions of the men in Walmart.

While Sheriff’s Office criminal investigators continued with the investigation at Walmart, it was discovered that the men in the vehicle stopped by Deputy VanAlstyne were allegedly responsible for passing counterfeit $100 dollar bills at Walmart, Lowes and Kohls in Greenport. It was also learned that these same individuals had allegedly committed similar crimes earlier in the day in the Town of Ulster, Ulster County as well as in Catskill in Greene County. The counterfeit money used in all three stores in Greenport was recovered by investigators.

Arrested were:

* Kymani Q. Hardie, 20, of Brooklyn was charged with first degree possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony; fourth degree conspiracy, a class E felony, and third degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor

* Omar N. McFarlane, 20, of Brooklyn was charged with first degree possession of a forged instrument and fourth degree conspiracy, both class E felonies

* Robbie M. Brimage, 19, and Tziah N. Townsend, 20, both of Brooklyn were each charged with fourth degree conspiracy, a class E felony.

All four defendants were arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Barry Sack. Mr. Hardie and Mr. McFarlane were sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail. Mr. Townsend was jailed in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond and Mr. Brimage was released on his own recognizance. They are scheduled to appear back in court at a later date. Further charges are pending in other jurisdictions. The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and the Greenport Police Department assisted with the investigation.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office are Senior Investigator Kevin Skype; Investigators Patrick Logue and Reagan Anderson; First Sergeant Louis Bray; Sergeant Jeffrey Hofstetter; K9 Deputy Travis VanAlstyne; Deputies Peter Merante and Andrew Horst.

Copake

State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Paul J. Kosnick, 59, of Ghent for third degree grand larceny, a class D felony, November 4.

An investigation revealed Mr. Kosnick allegedly took money exceeding $3,000 from a Copake resident in return for materials and home improvement services which were not provided.

Mr. Kosnick was arraigned in Copake Court and released on his own recognizance to reappear in court November 25.

Anyone who believes they are the victim of similar crimes perpetrated by Mr. Kosnick is asked to contact State Police at SP Livingston at 845-677-7300.

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

*Glenn Dort, 45, of Stockport was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) first offense, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content above .08%, both unclassified misdemeanors, as well as a vehicle and traffic violation for refusal to submit to a breath screening test, by Deputies John Sullivan and Jordan Brahm, October 18 at 10 p.m. Mr. Dort was arrested during a traffic stop on Ferry Road in Stuyvesant. He was administered a breathalyzer test which yielded a 0.14% BAC. He is scheduled to appear in Stuyvesant Court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email

Philmont man gets 6½ years on child porn convictions

ALBANY—James A. Brady, 70, of Philmont was sentenced November 12 to 78 months in prison for distributing and possessing child pornography.

The announcement came in a press release from United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also imposed a 15-year term of supervised release, which will start after Mr. Brady is released from prison, and ordered him to pay $9,000 in restitution. As a result of his conviction, Mr. Brady will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

Mr. Brady pleaded guilty to distributing and possessing child pornography in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York June 25. As part of his guilty plea, Mr. Brady admitted to using a desktop computer equipped with peer-to-peer file-sharing software to download and distribute child pornography. Overall, Mr. Brady downloaded and retained more than 200 videos and images depicting child pornography. In an Internet Crimes Against Children joint task force case,

Mr. Brady, a 30-year resident of Philmont, was charged with receipt and distribution of child pornography, March 1, 2018.

Federal agents and State Police executed a federal search warrant at Mr. Brady’s residence on Eagle Street in the village March 1. Evidence was secured and Mr. Brady was subsequently arrested. At that time he was arraigned in Albany at the U.S. District Court and sent to the Rensselaer County Jail without bail.

The case was investigated by the State Police and the FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sahar L. Amandolare as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, the Project is led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). The Project marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.–Diane Valden

Child abuser gets the max

HUDSON—John Acklin was sentenced to the maximum allowable on each count for a total of 335 years with the State Department of Corrections following his conviction by a jury verdict on 16 counts of sexually assaulting two children.

Judge Jonathan D. Nichols sentenced Mr. Acklin in Columbia County Court October 4, according to a press release from District Attorney Paul Czajka.

The crimes were committed in Livingston between December 2004 and March 2006.

DA Czajka commended State Police and, specifically, Senior Investigator Eric Barnes and Investigator Robin Reed; the Child Advocacy Center, where Investigator Reed worked with Julianne Bauman, and the Texas Rangers, who worked on this case tirelessly and traveled to Hudson twice to testify.

The DA reserved his greatest praise for the survivors, who, as children, “suffered unimaginably, but courageously confronted their abuser in open court. As long as I’ve been dealing with these cases, the courage of child survivors never ceases to amaze me.”

John Hillman represents Mr. Acklin. Chief Assistant District Attorney James Carlucci and Assistant District Attorney Krista Kline prosecuted.

In other county court action:

* Tyresse Webster, 23, of Brooklyn was sentenced by Judge Richard M. Koweek to 334 days in the Columbia County Correctional Facility, with credit for time served, upon his conviction of fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property, October 7. The defendant committed the crime in Taghkanic. State Police Investigator Feroze Munim investigated this matter and arrested Mr. Webster, who was represented by John Leonardson, Esq.

* Umut Tanrikulu, 31, of Philmont was sentenced by Judge Koweek, October 7, to two to four years with the State Department of Correction upon his conviction by plea of first degree promoting prison contraband and 364 days in the Columbia County Correctional Facility, upon conviction by plea of seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, with credit for time served; sentences to run concurrent. The defendant committed the crimes in Greenport. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mark Dunspaugh investigated this matter and arrested Mr. Tanrikulu, who was represented by Shane Zoni, Esq.–Diane Valden

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