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July 19, 2016 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, news.

Ronald D. Stives, 34, of 61 Myrtle St. in Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count each of sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

It is alleged that during the morning hours of July 18, Stives subjected the victim to sexual contact when the victim was incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless. Further it is alleged that when he did so, Stives knowingly acted in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years of age.

Stives was arraigned before the Judge Daryl Sehm of the Le Roy Town Court and put in Genesee County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

July 19, 2016 - 3:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

​Batavia PD announced today that a 40-year-old Batavia man was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a family member. Eric Watson is in Genesee County Jail with bail set at $20,000.

He is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a mentally disabled family member who is incapable of consenting to such activity. The allegations date back three years, but were just reported this year.

Watson is charged with second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act, and second-degree incest.

He is due to appear in Genesee County Court at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 21.

Det. Sgt. Todd Crossett and Det. Kevin Czora are the city Police Department investigating officers.

July 16, 2016 - 2:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Darien, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Toby Keith Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on July 15:

Brendan E. Hart, 19, of Winding Woods, Hamburg, was arrested on two counts of trespass after allegedly attempting to entering the concert venue after being ejected twice and told not to return. Hart was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed in lieu of $250.

Justin M. Metzger, 18, of Stone Briar Drive, Clarence Center, was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket for July 28 in Darien Town Court.

July 16, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, corfu, Darien.

Jeffrey Mario McCormick Jr., 26, of Weiss Street, Buffalo, is charged with driving with a BAC of more than .08 percent, DWI, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and following too closely. On July 16, following the investigation of a motor-vehicle accident that happened almost at midnight in the parking lot of Darien Lake amusement park on Alleghany Road in Darien, McCormick was arrested for DWI and the other charges. He was issued traffic tickets and is to be in Darien Town Court on Aug. 16. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Michael Best Jr., 21, of Ward Street, Dunmore, Pa., was arrested after being stopped on Sumner Road in the Town of Darien and allegedly found to be intoxicated. He was initially observed at 11:37 p.m. on Colby Road. He was issued traffic summons and is due in Darien Town Court on July 28. Best is charged with driving while intoxicated, driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more, failure to keep right, and following too closely. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Anthony Charles Bradbury, 36, of Ralph Broadrick Road, Normandy, Tenn., is charged with DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or greater, DWI, and unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 9:14 p.m. on July 14 at 9993 Alleghany Road in Darien, the location of the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. After an investigation into a suspicious condition, it was determined that Bradbury was allegedly operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. He was allegedly found to possess a quantity of marijuana at the time of his arrest. He was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Dana Richardson.

Roberto F. Fuentes Jr., of Lackawana, was arrested at 8:28 p.m. on July 14 in the Village of Corfu and charged with felony DWI following a minor traffic accident at Crosby's convenience store on Alleghany Road. Fuentes was previously convicted of DWI in 2014. He is due in Pavilion Town Court on Aug. 1. The case was handled by Village of Corfu  Police Officer Michael Petritz.

July 15, 2016 - 11:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pokemon Go, Oakfield, crime, news.

A 26-year-old woman who lives on Garibaldi Avenue in Oakfield is charged with petit theft after allegedly stealing a bicycle so she could ride it and get around faster to play Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go is the new mobile app game that has exploded in popularity in the past week that calls on players -- called trainers -- to travel around, usually by walking, and capturing, fictional creatures called "Pokemon" that appear on your smartphone screen at various physical locations.

Brandi-Lyn Heidenreich allegedly stole the bike from a 13-year-old after he parked it momentarily behind a business on Main Street in Oakfield to visit his mother who was at work.

The suspect was located because the bike was later found at her house and she was found walking in the area.

The bike was returned to the 13-year-old and his mother. 

Heidenreich is due in Oakfield Town Court on Aug. 8 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning, assisted by Deputy Christopher Parker.

July 15, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, UMMC, news.
kimdiamondmug2016.jpg
      Kim Diamond

A Livingston County woman has been accused of possessing more than $50,000 in stolen medical equipment that disappeared from UMMC last year.

Kim Diamond, 47, was allegedly trying to sell the equipment on eBay after stealing the equipment.

She was arrested by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office on a charge of possession of stolen property. She has also reportedly been charged locally with grand larceny.

The property was reportedly found in her home in March and investigators have been positively identifying and valuing the equipment since.

Our news partner, WBTA, which broke the story of the thefts in March, reports that Diamond was employed by UMMC at the time of the thefts.

Following arraignment in Livingston County, she was released on her own recognizance. 

July 15, 2016 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, crime, Darien, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Vans Warped Tour at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Thursday:

Jacob P. Hildreth, 18, of Bristol Street, Canandaigua, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a controlled substance and a quantity of marijuana.

Caleb T. Jenderseck, 19, of Lapham Road, East Aurora, charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Aaron Michael Reid, 20, of Seneca Street, Buffalo, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Richard L.J. Reynolds, 19 of Village II Drive, Hilton, charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

July 14, 2016 - 6:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Suzanne Corona.

Suzanne Corona was sentenced to one and a half years in state prison this afternoon and one year post-release supervision by Genesee County Court Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka.

The determinant sentence was given for her guilty plea last year to one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

She admitted selling one suboxone pill for $60 to an undercover drug agent.

Although Corona has a record of petty, albeit some sensational, crimes dating back to 2010, the suboxone sale was her first felony offense.

She could have avoided prison entirely had she been able to successfully complete probation, given in lieu of incarceration, in that case.

But in April she admitted lacing her coffee with the liqueur Amaretto. In exchange for her admission of the probation violation, Judge Pietruszka allowed her to continue probation without any additional penalty.

A week later, she tested postive for alcohol again and was sent to jail for the weekend. On April 25, she was back in court and the judge released her to the custody of an inpatient rehab facility for a month after signing a court order for the medical care. Upon release, she was in court for a bail review hearing and the judge determined that despite the stay in rehab, she was in violation of her probation and she was ordered back to jail.

Today, she smiled wanly at her husband in the gallery when she was led into the courtroom by a bailiff. Wearing navy blue scrubs and canvas slip-on shoes, chained at the waist and handcuffed, she stood with regal posture next to her attorney, Brian Degnan.

"Miss Corona has a lengthy criminal history -- both in this court and in local courts," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell (standing in for ADA William Zickl). "She has shown a lack of ability to comply with the conditions of her probation."

Attorney Degnan said his client successfully completed the month-long rehab program and that authorities recommend she be placed in a halfway house, a sober living facility, but she and her spouse cannot afford the $900-per-month cost of that option. He acknowleged her failure to comply with probation and said she intends to take classes to improve her mental health and well being.

"She has issues she needs to work on," Degnan said.

Degnan disputed Zickl's characterization of his client's criminal past, specifically the claim that she "has a lengthy criminal history in this court."

The judge asked Corona if she had anything to say on her own behalf. She did.

"I would like to apologize to you for not being able to complete my probation," she said clearly and sincerely, adding that she intends to take as many classes as she can to improve herself.

Then, choking back tears, she said "I apologize to my family for being so selfish and not realizing how much hurt I have caused them. My family has suffered and now they'll suffer because I won't be here."

With that, the matter was concluded. Her husband told her that he loved her; she waved awkwardly to him with one of her manacled hands and was led away.

July 14, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Bethany, Pavilion.

Floyd William Howell, 45, of Transit Road, Bethany, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. At 7:04 a.m. on July 12, Howell was arrested on Sparks Road in Pavilion for allegedly taking a vehicle and using it without the owner's consent. He was arraigned in Pavilion Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is to appear in Pavilion Town Court again on Sept. 6. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Eric Seppala.

Ward Edward Royse, 41, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. At 6 p.m. on July 12, Royse was arrested following the investigation into a pair of larcenies at Kmart. It is alleged that Royse stole several items from the store on June 26 and then again on July 4. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on July 18. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hale.

Jakob Matthew Bishop, 18, of West Oak Orchard Street, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bishop was arrested on the charge following an investigation into a suspicious activity call at 8:45 p.m. on July 13. Bishop was in the midway of the Genesee County Fairgrounds at the time of his arrest. He was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 4 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl.

July 13, 2016 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, crime, meth, news.

An Oakfield resident who was reportedly a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his part in a methamphetamine distribution ring.

James Heney "Mitch" McAuley Jr., 67, also will be barred from associating with members of the Hells Angels for five years upon his release from prison.

McAuley had previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Federal investigators say McAuley, a vice president of the Rochester chapter of the Hells Angels, was a leader role in a distribution ring that obtained meth from a source in California and had it shipped to New York for sale in Rochester.

The operation continued from at least 2002 through July 2010, with McAuley running it even after he was taken into custody on a racketeering charge in 2007.

Richard W. Mar, 64, president of the Monterey chapter of the Hells Angels, provided the McAuley and his co-conspirators with the meth.

The co-conspirators included: McAuley's wife, Donna Boon, 50; Richard Riedman, 42, of Webster; Gordon Montgomery, 57, of Batavia; Jeffrey A. Tyler, 51, of Rochester; and Paul Griffin, 62, of Blasdell. 

All have also entered guilty pleas to various related charges. 

Boon received three years probation and 12 months of home incarceration. 

Monterey chaper President Mar is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 16.

Authorities also tied McAuley to a baseball attack on a patron in a Rochester bar and a subsequent attempt to cover up the crime.

Robert W. "Bugsy" Moran, 61, of Rochester, entered a guilty plea in February to conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. 

Gina Tata, 52, of Rochester, pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the conspiracy and was given three years probation.

Timothy M. Stone, 36, of Gates, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

July 13, 2016 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

nonstabbingjuly132016.jpg

A person has reportedly been stabbed at the traffic roundabout on Oak Street in the City. Batavia PD responding.

UPDATE 4:03 p.m.: No stabbing, no crime. Batavia Police Sgt. Chris Camp says when officers arrived on scene and found a bloody person, who jumped out of his car and flagged them down, they initially believed he was a stabbing victim. Upon investigation, it was revealed that there had been a dispute nearby on Walnut Street and a man punched out a window at his own house, and got cut up as a result. That's why he was bloodied when police found him at the roundabout.

July 13, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, crime, batavia, news.
mugannovidarren2016.jpg
     Darren Annovi

Darren Annovi, the 42-year-old resident of 400 Towers in Batavia, who is accused of placing his live cat in an oven and baking it to death, must undergo a forensic mental health evaluation, Judge Robert Balbick ruled today at Annovi's arraignment in City Court.

A key issue at the arraignment was whether to release Annovi on bail or on his own recognizance. Typically, a person with no criminal record and a high score on the bail evaluation would be a sure bet to be released without bail, and since state guidelines don't take into account the nature of the criminal charge, but Balbick was concerned about the last sentence in the bail evaluation.

He said that it indicated Annovi might a danger to the community. 

That assessment reportedly came from corrections officers at the jail and Assistant Public Defender Lisa Kroemer suggested that since they weren't trained mental health professionals, maybe that shouldn't weigh heavily in the bail hearing.

She thought an evaluation by a professional would be appropriate.

Bail is supposed to be based on the likelihood the defendant will appear for his next court date, but Balbick said he thought it reasonable to consider Annovi's mental health state since that, too, could be a factor in whether he would appear as ordered.

Annovi is charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

He is scheduled to next appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m., July 21.

Previously: 400 Towers resident jailed without bail for allegedly killing his cat by burning it alive in hot oven

July 13, 2016 - 12:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, news.

A 2006 Honda Civic, color gray, reportedly hit a utility pole in the Village of Corfu and then fled the scene.

Deputies are responding.

July 12, 2016 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, Stafford, byron, Pavilion.

Three young men were arrested late last night after Sheriff's deputies investigated a traffic offense complaint in which a person allegedly fired a 20-gauge shotgun in the direction of a vehicle that was following the vehicle that the alleged shooter was riding in. The incident occurred at 11:35 p.m. July 11 at an unspecified location in the Town of Stafford.

Michael T. Leubner, 18, of Linwood Avenue, Pavilion, is accused of firing the shotgun and he is charged with first degree reckless endangerment. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond. Leubner is due in Town of Stafford Court at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 14.

Austin J. Yockel, 19, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor. Yockel was issued a traffic summons for allegedly driving a motor vehicle which unreasonably endangered users of the public highway while following the vehicle occupied by Leubner and others. Yockel is due in Town of Stafford Court at a later date to answer the charge.

Jason A. Armstrong Jr., 19, of Sweetland Road, Stafford, who was also a passenger in the vehicle Leubner was riding in, was allegedly found in possession of marijuana (a violation). He was issued an appearance ticket for City of Batavia Court at a later date. 

The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, assisted by: Investigator Joseph Graff, Sgt. John Baiocco, Deputy Eric Meyer, Batavia PD and NYS Police.

July 10, 2016 - 7:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake performing arts center, Darien, darien lake, crime, news.

The following person was arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Journey concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Anthony M. Stanton, 38, of Hayden Street, Buffalo, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

July 9, 2016 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, Darien, crime, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Brantley Gilbert concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday

Timothy S. Jankowiak, 36, of Chestnut Street, Franklinville, is charged with third-degree assault after allegedly striking another person and fracturing that person’s nose.

Justin P. Schmid, 19, of Fletcher Road, Akron, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Jacob W. Grier, 18, of Chestnut Street, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Jamison A. Mandile, 30, of West Elm Street, East Rochester, is charged with second-degree harassment after allegedly punching a security officer in the face with a closed fist.

Jordan M. Bucci, 20, of County Route 26, Parish, is charged with is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

A 17-year-old, of Derby Road, Derby, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Justine Daniels, 24, of McKinstry Street, Albion, is charged with third-degree assault after allegedly striking another person and causing loss of consciousness.

Evan D. Magierski, 26, of Prospect Street, Forrestville, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

James E. Mussaw Jr., 31, of State Road, Webster, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly entering the back stage area and then entering the stage.

July 7, 2016 - 4:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, State Police, homeland security.

tops_hamburg.jpg

mug_eduardohernandezcc.jpg
    Eduardo Quinones
joseluisvaldiviaquinones.jpg
    Jose Quinones
misealtoldeorioscc.jpg
    Misael Rios
yassercarrillochartrand.jpg
    Yasser Chartrand
claudiadiazdiazcc.jpg
    Claudia Diaz
yailysanturiocc.jpg
    Yaily Santurio
fernandopizarroalonsocc.jpg
    Fernando Pizarro
humbertomrochecc.jpg
    Humberto Roche

In January 2015, state and federal law enforcement raided a house at 3618 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia, and by appearances, it looked like a bust on a marijuana growing operation.

Agents at the scene that day declined to share information and a spokesperson for Homeland Security said that the fact that there were sealed indictments in the case prevented her from providing even a general overview of what investigators hoped to uncover.

It turns out, state and federal investigators weren't looking for marijuana -- though they had a pretty good idea they would find a pot-growing operation -- they were looking for evidence in a massive credit card fraud ring involving a group of Cuban nationals from Tampa, Fla., who set up shop in Batavia and Lockport.

Six of the seven defendants associated with the house have now entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court, so we now have access to much of the details associated with the investigation that lasted for six months, starting in the fall of 2014.

There were two more people arrested and charged in Onondaga County who weren't charged federally.

It was likely a much larger operation, according to available information, but investigators concentrated their efforts on the individuals tied to the best, most solid evidence, said Ron Wilson, an investigator with the State Police in Batavia.

As many as 20 or 25 individuals could have been involved at various times during the criminal enterprise and the people arrested by federal authorities may not have been even the highest ranking in the organization, but according to the evidence uncovered, hundreds of people in Western New York were victims of credit card fraud at a price tag in the $1 million range.

It took several investigators, including Wilson, Investigator John DiPasquale with NYSP Lockport, Sean Needham with Homeland Security, and John Ferris with the U.S. Secret Service, six months to build the case against the individuals eventually arrested on federal charges. Early on Pat Welch with East Aurora PD brought another case to Wilson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. prosecuted the case.

Wilson said he and DiPasquale dedicated as much as 50 hours a week on the case for six months, and Ferris and Needham also put in hundreds and hundreds of hours into the investigation.

It all started with a complaint routed to a trooper from a resident in Oakfield who had his debit card with him, but it had been used to make a purchase at a Tops Market in Hamburg.

The case made its way to Wilson and he secured a surveillance video that showed two subjects working together.

Wilson used law enforcement communication channels looking for help within the region (sharing the photo, among others, at the top of the story), but no IDs were forthcoming, so he published the photo on CrimeStoppers. Needham saw that post and called Wilson.

"I think I can identify one of your guys," he said.

Misael Toledo Rios was picked up for questioning, but Wilson quickly realized that Rios wasn't the man in the Tops video, but Rios, who had a prior record related to credit card fraud made some admissions that put him on the radar of investigators.

About this time, a Town of Batavia employee reported he was victimized as well, with his Discover card number being used for thousands of dollars of charges at chain retailers in Erie County, including the purchase of a full set of weight-lifting equipment from Dick's Sporting Goods later located in the Batavia house.

Meanwhile, Welch called Wilson and said he had a similar case he was handling and that the subjects in the Hamburg video matched a video he had that related to a fraudulent transaction in East Aurora.

Then DiPasquale called Wilson and said that Cornerstone Bank had just turned over information on 200 bank customers who had been victimized by credit-card cloning.

"At that point, we knew we had the same kind of investigation, but we didn’t know we had the same individuals," Wilson said.

The men decided to work together to find the criminals.

They started assembling the jigsaw puzzle.

The suspects, particularly the man in that first Hamburg Tops video, provided a stream of cued-up clues, showing up frequently on the cameras of Big Box stores and, once investigators could connect names with faces, in their own social media posts wearing the same outfits, sunglasses and rings that were clearly visible on them in surveillance videos. This match of fraudulent transactions and social media posts helped investigators link locations, purchases, times and dates.

For example, one of the women arrested usually posted from Tampa, Fla., where she apparently lives with her two children, but on the day of at least one fraudulent purchase, she posted a picture of herself with a geo-location of Oakfield, NY. There's also a picture of her where the Walmart in Batavia is obviously identifiable in the background.

"The investigation was arduous, to say the least," Wilson said. "Every day was something new with them."

The primary suspects were working out of the house in Batavia and a house in Lockport. In order to get a search warrant, investigators needed rock-solid evidence of potential crimes. It couldn't be just a hunch.

Wilson started collecting garbage from the Batavia residence, which is how he came to realize there was obviously a marijuana growing operation going on there.

Much of the case was built before the search. Ippolito wanted a solid case to prosecute. Crime scene photos had to show faces clearly, clothing had to match, times and locations had to match, so the investigators had to cross-reference every shred of evidence and only use the receipts, photos and social media postings that wrapped up each accusation in a tight bow.

That's why the final criminal charges covered only a bit less than $100,000 in fraudulent transactions, even though in the time frame of the credit-card cloning operation, the suspects probably conducted transactions worth as much as $1 million.

That's also why there was neither a state nor federal charge for the marijuana growing operation. Too many people had access to the house in Batavia that there simply wasn't enough evidence to tie any one or two people specifically to cultivating pot.

As investigators were moving in, the suspects started moving further afield, with transactions popping up further and further east.

Wilson said he was getting nervous that the suspects were getting ready to wrap up operations in WNY and head back to Florida.

Then, they got caught.

Police in DeWitt, which is in Onondaga County, received a complaint from a store of a fraudulent credit card transaction and the suspects were still in the store.

Two subjects were picked up and questioned. It became clear to investigators that there were other individuals involved. They figured out what hotel they were staying at and what vans they were driving. The District Attorney got involved. Search warrants were obtained.

What investigators found were hundreds of credit card blanks, the hardware and software to make credit cards and evidence of prior purchases.

All six were arrested and charged in Onondaga County and the evidence obtained by investigators there helped seal the deal on search warrants for Batavia and Lockport.

"They did an amazing job in DeWitt," Wilson said.

While the U.S. District Attorney's Office has released information in the federal indictments and guilty pleas in the case, the scope of the case and its ties to Batavia, Lockport and DeWitt were not discussed openly pending convictions of five of the suspects.

Investigators believe members of the ring acquired the card numbers through two common methods: placing a scanner over the top of a card reader on a gas pump, allowing the card numbers and information to be read and stored in memory for later collection, and by purchasing numbers from hacker websites (often referred to as the "dark web").

As part of the surveillance during the investigation, one member of the group was observed placing a reader on a pump at a gas station in Oakfield. A week later, he retrieved it.

The dark websites allow credit-card cloners to search for high-limit cards within a certain geographic location. For the Cuban ring operating in Western New York, a card belonging to a resident in Oakfield or Batavia, for example, wouldn't raise suspicions for the bank or credit card company if used in Rochester or Buffalo, where a card issued to a resident in Nevada or California might. This would allow the scammers to get more use out of the card before it was shut off.

The ring members purchased merchandise, such as sunglasses, clothing and jewelry and gift cards and gasoline for later resale.

One member of the ring owned a Ford F-250 pickup with a plastic fuel tank that could hold 300 to 400 gallons of gas in the bed that had a hose and pump nozzle attached. At the time, gas was selling for about $4 per gallon, so a member of the ring would fill up the plastic tank and sell the gas for $2 or $2.50 a gallon, and since the initial purchase was with a stolen credit card, the proceeds were pure profit.

A seventh suspect is in custody and awaiting extradition from Costa Rica.

Below are the names and information on the people identified in the cases:

  • Jose Valdivia Quinones, 41, Cuban National from Tampa, convicted of bank fraud, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and required to pay $1,642.51 in restitution. He was known to investigators as "JVQ" and was one of the men captured in the surveillance video at Tops in Hamburg. He as also among the six indicted in Onondaga County (Town of DeWitt).
  • Eduardo Hernandez Quinones (Hernandez), 46, Cuban National and former resident of Miami, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and was sentenced to 31 months in prison. He was ordered to pay $13,785.29 in restitution. He was also arrested in DeWitt.
  • Misael Toledo Rios, 46, a Cuban National and former resident of Miami, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and was sentenced to 31 months in prison. He was ordered to pay $13,785.29 in restitution.
  • Yasser Carrillo Chartrand, 24, a Cuban National, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in U.S. District Court. He's scheduled to be sentenced in September. He was also arrested in DeWitt.
  • Claudia Diaz Diaz, 22, a Cuban National, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and sentenced to time served and three years probation. Diaz was convicted of using the credit cards (79 different accounts), but not tied to the operation to obtain numbers and make cards. She was also among the six arrested in DeWitt.
  • Yaily Santurio Milian, 32, Cuban National, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. She was scheduled to be sentenced in May, but we don't have information on her sentencing. She was also arrested in DeWitt.
  • Fernando Pizarro, 38, of Miami Gardens, Fla., and Humberto Roche, who is homeless, were also arrested in DeWitt, but not charged federally.

yally_fb.jpg

bluejacket_cubencards.jpg

These two photos show one of the suspects wearing the same blue jacket in social media posts that she was seen wearing at a time and place where she used a cloned credit card.

File photo: An officer removing a marijuana plant from the house at 3618 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia, which served as a base of operation for members of the credit card cloning ring operating in Western New York.

July 7, 2016 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Mary Frances Cronin, 20, of Sheppard Road, Scottsburg, is charged with false written statement. She was arrested for making a punishment false written statement at 4:30 p.m. on July 2. At that time, she provided a signed supporting deposition at the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on Park Road in Batavia, which allegedly contained several "non-truths" in relation to an investigation into an alleged sexual assault. Cronin was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia Town Court on July 25. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Minuto.

July 6, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Grand Jury, batavia.

Patrick D. Neaverth is indicted for the crime of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. On March 13, he allegedly knowlingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling on Kingsbury Avenue in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of third degree criminal mischief, a Class E felony, for intending to damage the property of another person and without having any right to do so allegedly damaged property, in this case a glass window to the front door of a residence, and the amount of damage exceeds $250. In count three, the defendant is accused of first degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony, for allegedly violating a duly served order of protection by intentionally or recklessly damaging the property of a protected person in an amount exceeding $250.

Triton A. Drock is indicted for the crime of failure to report a change of address within 10 days as required of a registered sex offender, a Class E felony. The convicted sex offender moved to 20 Buell St. in the City of Batavia then allegedly failed to register his new address with the state Dvision of Criminal Justice within the required 10 calendar days.

July 6, 2016 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Darien.

Veronica Leigh Tangle, 16, of 75th Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with second-degree attempted assault on a police officer, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. At 8:30 p.m. on July 4, law enforcement officers investigated a counterfeiting complaint at Darien Lake Theme Park. Veronica was arrested for allegedly attempting to head butt a police officer, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental justice. She was arraigned in Darien Town Court and jailed without bail. She was due back in court July 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Toni M. Morrison, 19, of Brockport, and three 17-year-old juveniles were arrested by State Troopers on July 2 for trespass after they were found on private property in Pembroke. They were issued appearance tickets returnable to the Town of Pembroke Court on July 7.

Mark A. Gordon, 24, of Buffalo, was arrested by State Troopers on July 3 and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after he was located parked on the roadway in the southbound lane on Westbrook Road. A multicolored smoking device with marijuana residue was allegedly observed on the floor in the back seat and the odor of marijuana emanated from the vehicle. Approximately one gram of marijuana was allegedly located in a container. Gordon was issued an appearance ticket, traffic tickets for unlicensed operator and stopping/parking on a highway returnable to the Town of Stafford Court on July 28.

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