Deputies charge three in thefts at local box store

GREENPORT—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) has made the third and final arrest in connection with a trio who was allegedly stealing from area box stores.

The value of the items stolen was more than $1,000, according to Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant John Rivero, who said there was “nothing in particular to mention” among the stolen items.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call January 24 from a box store in Greenport, where an individual reportedly departed the store without paying for items. The first deputy to arrive discovered that there were a few subjects who appeared to be working in concert to swipe items from the store.

The deputy was able to get a vehicle description and direction of travel and alerted other patrols in the area. The suspect vehicle, a 2016 Porche Cayenne, was located on State Route 9G in Greenport and found to contain the proceeds of several larcenies, along with three occupants.

After a lengthy investigation, search warrants, arrest warrants and countless hours of video review the three subjects arrested were:

*Billy Joe Dart, 33, of Hudson, charged March 26 at 2:42 p.m. in Greenport on a CCSO warrant

*Bernard Brown, 38, of New York City, charged February 26 at 4:47 p.m. when he turned himself in at the CCSO

*Jacob Doris, 43, of Kingston, charged March 20 at 10:01 p.m. on a Kingston PD warrant.

All were charged with fourth degree grand larceny, a class E felony, and fifth degree conspiracy, a class A misdemeanor. All subjects were released on their own recognizance to return to court at later dates. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Kingston City Police with the apprehension of one of the suspects.

“The patrols and investigators worked hard on this case. The responding deputies did a great job in communicating with each other to locate the vehicle shortly after the larceny. The investigators also did a thorough job in making sure that everything was recovered and a solid case was being presented to the prosecutor’s office. I’m proud of the work the men and women of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office did on this case and the work they do every day,” Sheriff David Bartlett said in a press release.

Greenport

Members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement and Education Unit along with uniformed deputies and members of the Capital District Drug Task Force-Tactical Diversion Unit arrested a Hudson man on drug charges April 1.

While conducting a drug sale investigation members came into contact with Adloye Virgo, 36, of Hudson in the area of Fairview Avenue and Charles Street in Greenport. During the encounter Mr. Virgo allegedly attempted to flee from law enforcement to discard a bag containing 98 blue-colored pills that appeared to be oxycodone 30 milligram pills.

As a result Mr. Virgo was placed into custody without further incident and taken to the Sheriff’s Office.

During further investigation it was determined that the pills were counterfeit and actually contained the narcotic drug fentanyl disguised to look like oxycodone.

Mr. Virgo was charged with one count of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (intent to sell), a B felony, and one count of tampering with physical evidence, an E felony.

He was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Barry Sack and released on his own recognizance to appear in court at a later date.

“This is exactly why drug enforcement is so crucial to police work. An unsuspecting person could have been in serious medical trouble had they taken these pills thinking they were consuming oxycodone. I urge anyone who is experiencing drug addiction to seek help in the form of treatment. Please reach out to our partners at Greener Pathways at 518-291-4500 or if during off hours, they can be reached at their evening and weekend hotline number at 518-822-0090. Our drug enforcement unit will continue to work in conjunction with other law enforcement partners to keep these drugs off of our streets,” Sheriff Bartlett said in a press release. Visit Greener Pathways at https://greenerpathways.org/

Taghkanic

Deputies seized cash and a variety of cannabis products from a car speeding on the Taconic State Parkway March 20.

At 8:17 p.m. that date, Deputies Matthew Leonard and Peter Merante stopped a vehicle traveling faster than 55 mph headed north on the Taconic State Parkway.

Cash and drug-related items seized during a traffic stop on the Taconic State Parkway in Taghkanic for speeding. Photo contributed

During the stop, deputies detected the strong odor of marijuana. Upon a search of the vehicle the deputies located marijuana wax, 67 THC vape cartridges, and a large bag of marijuana. Also located in the vehicle was $16,600 in cash. Both occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody.

The driver Benjamin Roberts, 25, of Bennington, VT, was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for allegedly having one ounce or greater of concentrated cannabis, a class C felony; fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, (concentrated cannabis), a class D felony; second degree criminal possession of marijuana (more than 16 ounces), a class D felony; third degree aggravated unlicensed operator, an unclassified misdemeanor; speed over 55 mph, a traffic infraction.

Passenger Michael Mientka, 26, of Leeds was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (one ounce or greater of concentrated cannabis), a class C felony; fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (concentrated cannabis), a class D felony; second degree criminal possession of marijuana (more than 16 ounces), a class D felony; second degree unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

Both subjects were arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Barry Sack and released on their own recognizance. They were directed to return to Taghkanic Court at a later date.

“If people are going to use the roadways in Columbia County to transport drugs, our deputies will find them and arrest them. The work these two deputies did is commendable. It is also a credit to their training and dedication to the job, and citizens of Columbia County,” Sheriff Bartlett said in a press release.

To contact Diane Valden email .

Red Cross aided six after Hudson fire

HUDSON—Volunteers from the Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross provided immediate emergency aid to six people after a fire early the morning of March 24 on Fairview Avenue in Hudson.

Hudson firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad were called to a structure fire at 34 Fairview Avenue 1:40 a.m. that day. Firefighters from Greenport, Catskill, Athens, Claverack, Germantown, Stottville and Chatham responded to provide mutual aid or stand by. County Fire Coordinators and Hudson Police assisted on scene. National Grid and Code Enforcement were requested to scene. Firefighters were back in service at 3:27 a.m.

The Red Cross provided financial assistance which can be used for necessities such as shelter, food and clothing to five adults and one three-year-old child. Volunteers also offered emotional support. In the coming days, Red Cross staff and volunteers will remain available to help those affected by the fire as they navigate the road to recovery.

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