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April 25, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, genesee county, scam, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office would like the residents of Genesee County to be aware of a scam that is going around. The Sheriff's Office has received complaints where residents attempting to purchase motor vehicles on Craigslist are being asked to pay for these items with iTunes gift cards.

The transaction process is through a fraudulent Apple Pay account that the suspect sets up for the victim. The victim then purchases the gift cards and is required to contact a fraudulent 1-800 number and give the suspect the redemption codes on the back of the iTunes gift cards before they'll ship the vehicle.

The suspect never delivers the vehicle and the iTunes gift cards are redeemed by the suspect.

If anyone encounters this type of scenario, please do not move forward with payment and contact the Sheriff's Office at 585-343-5000.

April 25, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news.

Aaron Christopher Lyons, 19, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs, first offense; driving while intoxicated, first offense; failure to stop at a stop sign; speeding in excess of 55 mph; and unlawful possession of marijuana. The defendant allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign and was speeding on Main Road in Le Roy at 2:05 p.m. a.m. on April 23. After a brief investigation, the defendant was arrested for allegedly driving while his ability was to do so was impaired by drugs and for unlawful possession of marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in Le Roy Town Court on June 20. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, assisted by Christopher Parker.

Brad L. Ohlson, 39, Union Street, Batavia, is charged with third degree assault. The defendant was arrested on a bench warrant. He allegedly failed to comply with the conditions of his release on the charge, stemming from an incident at 9:30 a.m. on April 18, and was turned over the the Batavia Police Department. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young.

April 22, 2016 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprised of police officer from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department, concluded an investigation into the sales of heroin in and around the City of Batavia with the arrest of  a Batavia man on Thursday evening.

David T. Riley Jr., 33, of East Main Street, Batavia, is in jail, charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony, and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, also a Class B felony.

Riley was arrested at his residence on a Genesee County Grand Jury Warrant, which followed an extensive investigation into illegal drug sales in the Tracy Avenue area. The defendant was allegedly selling heroin in the Tracy Avenue area. The investigation is continuing and further charges and arrests are possible.

Task Force members were also assisted in the investigation and arrest by the Genesee Countyu DA's Office, the Probation Department, uniformed officers of the City of Batavia Police Department.

April 22, 2016 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprised of officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department, concluded an investigation into the sales of suboxone in and around the City of Batavia with the arrest of a Batavia man Thursday evening.

Lance M. Mercado Sr., 25, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, a Class D felony and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, also a Class D felony.

Mercado was arrested at his residence on a Genesee County Grand Jury indictment warrant. He was allegedly selling quantities of the medication suboxone. He is in jail.

Task Force members were also assisted in the investigation and arrest by the Genesee County DA's Office, uniformed members of the Sheriff's Office and uniformed officers of the City of Batavia Police Department.

April 21, 2016 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

stolenplownypdapril2016.jpgState Police are requesting the public's assistance in locating a snowplow stolen from a local business.

Investigators believe whoever stole the plow might try to sell it locally.

The plow was stolen from a business in the Town of Batavia in early April and looks just like the one pictured on the right. It is a Western MVP 3 and is fairly new.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or was approached to purchase a similar plow is asked to contact the State Police at (585) 344-6210.

April 20, 2016 - 4:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia.

Jerry Riley III

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprised of officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department, concluded as investigation into the illegal sales of narcotics from a Bank Street residence in the City of Batavia with the arrest of a Rochester man on Wednesday afternoon.

Jerry Riley III, 38, of Jay Street, Rochester is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, also a Class B felony.

He is already in custody at the Genesee County Jail from an incident that occurred in the city earlier this month and has now been charged with four additional felony charges this afternoon stemming from the sales of "crack" cocaine in the city in March.

Riley is in jail with $2,000 of additional bail.

For initial post on Riley, click here.

April 20, 2016 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Oakfield, byron.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office investigated a motor-vehicle accident at the 7-Eleven convenience store on South Main Street in Oakfield on April 19 at about 2 p.m.

A motor vehicle crashed into the south wall of the store and immediately fled the scene. The vehicle was later found on Townline Road in Byron occupied by a male operator. The male was identified at Hicham Fathallah, 34, of Rochester. He was charged with leaving the scene of a motor-vehicle accident and inadequate brakes.

He is to appear in the Town of Oakfield Court at a later date and time.

For initial post, click here.

April 19, 2016 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Scott Jay Seeley, 54, of Newstead Road, Akron, is charged with driving while intoxicated with a BAC greater than .08 percent, DWI, having a cracked windshield and an obstructed view. At 7:52 p.m. on April 18, on West Main Street in the Town of Batavia, Seeley was arrested following a traffic stop for vehicle equipment violation(s). After interviewing him and giving him field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed, he was arrested then released on appearance tickets for Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Malik Domonic Dietz, 21, of West 13th St., Manhattan, is charged with third-degree identity theft and petit larceny. Dietz allegedly used the victim's personal identification to gain access to an Internet site at 5 p.m. on April 8 from a location on Batavia-Stafford Townline Road. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on April 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Mazur.

April 19, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, crime, news.

A vehicle crashed into the 7-Eleven convenience store in Oakfield, located at 25 S. Main St., and then it left. Law enforcement is on scene and Oakfield Fire Department is responding. The building is damaged.

UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: Fire command is holding the assignment in quarters.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The car involved is described as an older model red SUV. It was last seen heading toward the city.

UPDATE 3:10 p.m.: A car matching the description of the vehicle involved in this incident is reportedly broken down on Route 262. Law enforcement is heading there.

April 18, 2016 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, elba, corfu, Oakfield.

Kerry L. Norton, 33, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while intoxicated, DWI -- Leandra's Law, and endangering the welfare of a minor. At 2:31 a.m. on April 16, Norton was arrested after being stopped for multiple traffic violations. Norton performed field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. Officers discovered that two of his passengers were juveniles under age 16. Officers later discovered that Norton allegedly allowed the children to smoke marijuana in the vehicle while he was driving. He was jailed without bail and set to return to court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Deniz M. Pirincci, 59, Garden Drive, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog and owning a dog running at large. At 9:32 p.m. on March 27, Pirincci's dog was running at large and allegedly attacked another dog that was being walked by its owner on Garden Drive. Following at investigation, he was issued at appearance ticket for April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Joseph A. Monte, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree robbery, second-degree harassment, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 2:32 a.m. on April 17 after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred a short time earlier on Walnut Street. He was jailed and set to be in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Carlos Samol, 51, of Libersty Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing. He was arrested after an incident at 8:07 p.m. on April 17 on Ellicott Street in which Samol allegedly menaced another person with what appeared to be a pistol. He was jailed on $5,000 bail and is to appear in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay. In addition, he was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly riding in a car with another person in violation of a complete stay-away order of protection. On the latter charge, the case was handled by Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Mitchell Cowen.

Frank J. Finley Jr., 33, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. Finley was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident in the city at 11:40 p.m. on April 9. He was due in court on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Riley J. Cole, 20, of Garibaldi Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree harassment. The charge stems from an incident on Walnut Street at 3:50 p.m. on April 8 wherein Cole allegedly struck an ARC staff member in the face. Cole is to appear in City Court Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Zachary Vernon Seeley, 19, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested following an altercation at 3:11 p.m. on April 13 at 555 E. Main St. with another resident at that location. Seeley allegedly became upset with the other resident and punched a hole in a wall there, prior to allegedly shoving the other resident. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail and was due in court on April 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Taheed M. Moffett, 31, of Turner Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief -- $250 in damages, resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. Moffett was arrested at 8:56 p.m. on April 19 on Pearl Street. The defendant was to appear in April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Scott D. Higgins, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .18 percent or more, DWI -- common law, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to use headlights, and operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. At 2:22 a.m. on April 16, officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle without headlights on West Main Street at Burger King. Higgins was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated and he was subsequently arrested for DWI and issued tickets. He is scheduled to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk. Higgins was subsequently arrested at 1 p.m. on April 19 for failure to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Aug. 12, 2014, on West Main Street.  He was jailed, then released after posting $200 bail. He is to appear in City Court on this matter Tuesday. The case was handled by Officer Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Perkins.

Christopher Michael Barone, 33, of Lawrence Avenue, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was arrested at 7:59 p.m. on April 8 after a traffic stop on Main Street in Batavia. He was found to have a suspended driver's license (14 suspensions on four dates) and also had an active warrant out of the Town of Batavia for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was also allegedly found to possess cocaine. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in City Counrt on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter.

Terry L. Travis Jr., 33, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd, refusal to take a breath test and illegal signal. He was arrested at 1:38 p.m. on March 25 and released with an appearance ticket for City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Robin D. Dixon, 28, of Barbie Court, Rochester, is charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated -- common law, and driving the wrong direction on a one-way street. Dixon was arrested at 2:08 a.m. on April 9 after she was observed allegedly driving the wrong way on a portion of School Street, downtown. After a traffic stop, she was arrested for allegedly driving in an intoxicated condition. She is to be in court on April 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Brian V. Bisig, 29, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with having insufficient tail lamps and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. At 9:47 p.m. on April 14, Bisig was stopped for having a defective tail lamp in the area of West Main and River streets. He was arrested and posted $200 bail and is to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Johnney Lee Shannon, 57, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unattended motor vehicle. Shannon was arrested at 1:06 p.m. April 11 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, after allegedly leaving his vehicle running unattended in the parking lot of a local business. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. Subsequently, Shannon was arrested on a warrant out of Wyoming County. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Nathan S. Love, 23, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on a City of Batavia warrant that was issued after he failed to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Feb. 27 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was jailed on $500 bail and was to be in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Gregory F. Frieday, 31, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief -- intent to damage property. He was arrested at 11:20 p.m. on April 9 and was issued an appearance ticket for court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on April 3 following an investigation stemming from his allegedly threatening individuals. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in court on April 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Kyle Ratulowski, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on two counts of petit larceny after attempting to pawn items he allegedly stole from unsecured vehicles overnight while in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis. Deputy Young from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation. The Sheriff's Office also had charges on Ratulowski for allegedly stealing items from unsecured vehicles in the Town of Batavia. He was jailed on those charges.

Kiha S. McNear, 18, of 1/2 Walnut St., Batavia, was arrested at 9:45 a.m. on April 11 after police responded to a report of a physical altercation in the parking lot of Tim Horton's. While police were interviewing multiple subjects, McNear became upset that poluce had stopped him and allegedly started using absive language and shouting obscenities and racial epithets toward police. He was subsequently arrested and issued an appearance ticket for city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Kasey J. Wagner, 34, of Fletcher Chapel Road, Shelby, is charged with failure to appear. Wagner was arrested on a warrant issued her failure to appear in court on a charge of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Wagner was jailed on $250 bail and was due in court April 11.

Christina A. Cotter, 23, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Cotter was arrested on April 4 after violating a complete stay-away order of protection issued by City Court by allegedly sending several text messages to the protected party. Cotter was to be in court April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Ralph A. Golding, 51, of Broadway, Alden, was arrested April 11 on a bench warrant out of City Court. The warrant was issued after Golding allegedly failed to pay a fine in relation to a conviction for petit larceny. The defendant was due in court April 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Kathryn F. Long, 21, of Harris Road, Le Roy was arrested on April 14th by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Long was arrested following a complaint of an alleged larceny in progress from Tops Market located in the Village. Long allegedly took $5.89 worth of merchandise from Tops. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Le Roy Town Court on May 19.

Kenneth A. McJury, 52, of 1/2 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. McJury was arrested following an investigated into a larceny at 5:57 p.m. April 6 at the Kwik Fill on Jackson Street. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Tyler D. Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested at 1 p.m. on April 12 on a bench warrant. Price was released on an appearance ticket and was to be in City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.
April 15, 2016 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, news, Stafford, batavia.

Joseph M. Dispenza is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 17 in the Town of Batavia that Dispenza drove a 2006 Pontiac on Route 63 while in an intoxicated condition. In count two, he is accused of the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that he had a BAC of .18 percent at the time. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving while knowing, or having reason to know, that his license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities, and doing so while under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

Cordell E. Libbett is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 4 in the Town of Stafford that Libbett drove a 2015 Dodge with Mississippi plates on Route 33 in the Town of Stafford while knowing, or having reason to know, that his license to operate a motor vehicle in this state was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. It is further alleged that he had in effect 10 or more suspensions, imposed on at least 10 separate dates for failure to answer or pay a fine. These are cited as having occurred in the following places on these dates: Dec. 25, 2008, Town of Wayland, Steuben County; Oct. 11, 2013, Town of Irondequoit, Monroe County; and in the City of Rochester, Monroe County, on Aug. 31 and Nov. 22, 2006; and Jan. 29. and March 19, 2007; Jan. 22, March 7, March 28, May 6, Sept. 27, Oct. 10, Oct. 18, and Nov. 20, 2008; April 24, June 26, Dec. 29, 2012; March 5, Oct. 1 and Dec. 3, 2013; and March 19, 2014.

April 15, 2016 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, Le Roy, pembroke.

James R. Kosiorek (pictured left), 23, who has no permanent address and is currently residing in the Genesee County Jail, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with a second residential burglary where guns were allegedly involved. Kosiorek was initially charged for burglarizing a residence March 17 on Lake Street in LeRoy and attempting to steal guns from inside. During that alleged burglary, the homeowner interrupted the burglary finding Kosiorek inside at which time Kosiorek allegedly fled the scene, leaving the guns. While conducting that investigation, information was received alleging Kosiorek committed a different but similar burglary on Genesee Street in Le Roy. A subsequent investigation into the Genesee Street burglary alleged that on March 13 Kosiorek forced entry to an acquaintances apartment at which time Kosiorek removed two shotguns from the apartment. It is alleged that Kosiorek was again interrupted by the tenant and fled the scene. The shotguns were recovered by the tenant in the back yard. Kosiorek was charged Thursday with one count of second-degree burglary, a Class C felony, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, and one count of third-degree criminal mischief, also a Class E felony. Kosiorek was arraigned before the Hon. Michael Welsh of the Le Roy Town Court and released on his own recognizance as he was already being held on bail for the Lake Street burglary.

Amelia Rose Witkowski, 30, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree burglary, making a punishable false written statement and petit larceny. She was arrested for allegedly entering a resident on Main Road in Pembroke at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 and stealing property from within. She also allegedly provided a written deposition to a Sheriff's deputy which contained false information. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Christopher Erion.

Kimberly M. Zeiner, 48, of Caroline Street, Albion, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and driving without headlights following a traffic stop at 3 p.m. April 6 on West Main Street, Batavia. Zeiner was subsequently arrested on April 14 on an outstanding bench warrant on those charges issued out of City of Batavia Court. The defendant was jailed in lieu of $250 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Nicholas Adam Dubois, 18, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Dubois was arrested following an investigation of theft of stone from two locations in the Town of Byron. He was released with appearance tickets. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Fleming, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

A 17-year-old is charged with two counts of petit larceny. The youth was arrested following an investigation of theft of stone from two locations in the Town of Byron. The subject was released with appearance tickets. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Fleming, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

April 15, 2016 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kyle Johnson, crime, Le Roy.
120mug_kylejohnson.jpg
    Kyle Johnson

The man accused of murdering a neighbor on Selden Road, Le Roy, the morning of Dec. 1, received a psychological exam earlier this week, according to his attorney, but the results of that exam have not yet been made available to the defense.

The report will help Public Defender Jerry Ader determine how he will proceed with the case, he told President Judge Michael F. Pietruszka.

Ader may ask for a hearing to determine if Kyle G. Johnson suffers from a mental defect or impairment.

Johnson is accused of killing Norman D. "Don" Ball, of setting his own house on fire, and of attempting to kill a police officer and firefighter.

The 53-year-old defendant was arrested near his property on Selden Road after a lengthy standoff with police, including emergency response teams, while his house burned to the ground.

It will take at least two weeks for the written report to become available, at which time, Ader will provide a copy to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman. 

At some point after the report is available, there will be a hearing on several issues related to the case. Whether that includes a hearing on Johnson's mental state will be determined by Ader, but Friedman said he expects Ader will seek a hearing on several evidentiary issues, including a photo lineup used with a witness, oral statements made in connection with the case, a video interview, and numerous statements made to corrections officers in the Genesee County Jail.

Typically, pre-trial hearings last about an hour, but Friedman said he expects this hearing will last substantially longer, but less than a full day.

For previous coverage on Kyle Johnson, click here.

April 14, 2016 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.
mug_charles_scintadec2015.jpg mug_wetsell_james.jpg
     Charles Scinta      James Wetall

Judge Michael F. Pietruszka isn't convinced that 74-year-old Charles G. Scinta is addicted to painkillers and wants to see some evidence that he is before considering a possible probationary sentence that would include drug rehab on Scinta's drug-dealing charges.

"The report says he's been using opiates since he was 69, but it doesn't say they're illicit," Pietruszka said. "They could have been prescribed," adding later, "my point is, I don't know that this is a substance-abuse issue. This could easily be interrupted as being medical sanctioned."

Scinta's attorney, Lisa Kroemer, said she understood the judge's concern and asked for a two-week adjournment to get clarification from the drug-treatment program that produced the report on exactly what their findings were.

"I think that's in everyone's best interest," Pietruszka said.

Scinta, who was allowed to sit throughout the court proceedings because of a medical condition, was arrested in December with 43-year-old James J. Wetall, also of Le Roy. The two men were arrested as the result of an investigation into the sale of oxycodone and diazepam.

Scinta is accused of selling oxycodone to undercover agents on two separate occasions. He is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th.

A potential plea deal could keep Scinta out of prison, but first, Pietruszka wants to understand Scinta's history with painkillers.

Earlier, Wetall was given a shot at rehabilitation in exchange for pleading guilty to his drug sale charges. If Wetall successfully completes a rehab program, he will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to the felony charges and plead guilty to misdemeanors, which will carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail or three years probation.

If Wetall doesn't make it through rehab successfully, he's facing a sentence of up to 18 years in prison.

April 14, 2016 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.
j_mcwethy_mug2016.jpg
     Justine McWethy

A 28-year-old Batavia woman with multiple arrests on her record was hoping for another chance at drug rehabilitation when she appeared in County Court this morning on a grand larceny charge. Instead, Presiding Judge Michael F. Pietruszka thought a minimum of one year in prison would be a more appropriate sentence.

Justine D. McWethy had previously admitted to stealing more than $90,000 $9,000 from Joseph L. Mancuso, Inc., 56 Harvester Ave. while employed there in 2014.

The thefts, said her attorney Lisa Kroemer, were the result of her addictions and suggested to Piertruszka that a prison term wouldn't help her become a productive member of society.

"That's not going to clean up her addiction," Kroemer said. "In order for her to be able to use her talents, which as pointed out in the probation report -- she has a modicum of education and she is an intelligent girl, if she could get past the addiction, she would be able to lead a productive and law-abiding life."

District Attorney Lawerence Friedman argued that based on McWethy's history and the nature of the crime, in which she researched, planned and carried out a complex scheme to defraud her employer, made her less than a suitable candidate for probation and a rehab program.

He asked the maximum available sentence under the plea deal, which was one and a third to four years in state prison, be imposed.

With several members of her family in the gallery, McWethy tearfully apologized for her crime and said she's written several letters of apology, feeling guilty for what she did every day since her thefts were discovered. And while she said she understood why Friedman thought she should be punished, she would really like a chance to conquer her addiction.

"I feel like this is not the person I was meant to be," McWethy said.

Pietruszka said he was taking into account two violations of probation in the past 13 months before imposing a one- to three-year prison term, where, he noted, she can apply for drug treatment available to some state prisoners.

McWethy was also ordered to pay back the full amount in restitution, starting with Mancuso and then paying back the several banks that also lost money as part of the scheme.

CORRECTION: We originally published that the amount of restitution exceeded $90,000. This was a mistake. I misheard the amount in court. The correct amount is $9,136. I apologize for the mistake.

April 14, 2016 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Suzanne Corona, news, crime.

Suzanne Corona admitted to a violation of her probation in Genesee County Court on Wednesday afternoon and therefore Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka allowed her to continue serving probation without any additional penalty.

"I put Amaretto in my coffee," she told the judge, explaining why a urine sample taken from her on March 21 tested positive for alcohol, which she is forbidden from imbibing under the terms of her probation.

The terms were set forth last year after she admitted selling $60 worth of suboxone, a controlled substance, to an undercover agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

By pleading guilty on Aug. 3, she avoided serving up to one and a half years in prison and one year of post-release supervision and got probation instead, without objection from the DA's Office.

Although she got into trouble with the law several times during the period of 2010 and 2014, she had never faced a felony charge until then. As a first-time felony offender, the judge in the case, Robert C. Noonan, now retired, had leeway to give her jail time instead or probation.

Corona made headlines worldwide when she was arrested on an adultery charge in 2010 after being observed in an apparent sexual act with a man not her husband on a picnic table in Farrall Park. Then came accusations of shoplifting from a local restaurant, which led to a disturbance there and Corona being wheeled away on a gurney into a waiting ambulance, and various other shoplifting charges, including an arrest at Target on a day when a Sheriff's deputy was there doing a K-9 demonstration.

The Ousterhout Avenue resident avoided getting into trouble for a long time and then came the arrest for selling suboxone.

After testing positive for alcohol last month, she initially denied violating the conditions of her probation, then on the advice of her attorney, Brian Degnan, she reversed course. Even in court yesterday, after having conferred with her attorney, she at first refused to admit guilt.

Pietruszka asked if she was on medication and she said is prescribed medication for "mental health, pain, anxiety and thyroid." When asked, she said she has never been in treatment for drug addiction but she has, and continues, treatment for alcoholism.

Asked if she was satisfied with her attorney, she said yes, and acknowleged that her admission of guilt was being made without coercion or under any threat, and with the understanding that admitting the violation was the same as being convicted after a hearing in court.

The judge said in reviewing her file, he saw nothing to indicate an extra penalty would be imposed if she failed supervision. He said the interim supervision of probation imposed last summer would continue.

Corona, in her mid-40s, was easily the best-dressed person in the gallery of the courtroom Wednesday, admittedly not a high bar. She wore a short, navy blue, knit panel skirt and matching jacket, with buff-colored pumps, nude hose, a cloth shoulder bag with a long strap that had wide, bold navy and white stripes. Her chunky silver wristwatch was encrusted with crystals. French manicured nails, one fingertip painted navy; silver thumb ring and thin silver bangle earrings. Her perfume? "Juicy Couture."

After she left the courtroom by herself, she seemed relieved, the nervousness she conceded earlier abated. Asked how she ended up where she is, she sadly and briefly articulated the "rough road" of her upbringing and said she is working hard on her issues.

And Degnan couldn't help but note that for someone like his client to have only slipped up once in nearly a year is in itself an accomplishment.

"I pay $105 out of my own pocket for counseling, (I go) three times a week," she said proudly. "I don't get public assistance."

April 13, 2016 - 5:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, crime.

A former crack cocaine dealer who lived on Summit Street in the City of Batavia and is now serving eight years in prison appeared in Genesee County Court today to have a court date set on new drug charges.

Philip R. Ayala, about 30, was indicted by a Grand Jury in January for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on July 9 in the City of Batavia that Ayala knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- crack cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, the defendant is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug and these preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more.

As a prisoner in the state Department of Corrections, he was in shackles and wore a forest green jumpsuit, shadowed by an armed prison guard wearing a bulletproof vest.

Ayala has until 9:30 a.m. on June 8 to accept a plea offer from the DA's Office on a single Class B felony charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Otherwise, the case will go to trial on July 25.

According to assistant DA William Zickl, Ayala faces a maximum of up to 12 more years in prison.

"I would offer a plea to expose the defendant to additional incarceration," Zickl said after the court proceedings, adding that it is up to the judge to decide the length of the sentence under the provisions of the law and whether it would be concurrent or consecutive to the existing prison term.

Ayala has a criminal history.

After a raid by law enforcement in December 2014, Ayala pled guilty six months later to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, a Class C felony. He was bailed out of jail and was scheduled to be sentenced last Aug. 4  to no more than five years in prison -- IF he didn't break the law prior to his sentencing.

But on July 9, while living on Vine Street in Batavia, he was arrested on a sealed warrant out of Orleans County. When he was arrested on that warrant, he allegedly had 62 bags of crack cocaine in his possession. Thus, January's Grand Jury indictment as noted above.

His attorney, then as now, is Jamie Welch, who maintained his client hadn't violated the plea offer because Ayala wasn't arrested specifically on the charges for allegedly possessing 62 bags of crack before the Aug. 4 sentencing date (technically, his arrest was due to charges contained in the sealed warrant), so the max prison time he should get is five years. Judge Robert C. Noonan, now retired, disagreed and determined Ayala indeed violated the plea offer, so the maximum eight years was imposed last summer.

At that time, Zickl told Noonan: "One thing that is clear is the defendant is deeply committed to drug dealing and undertakes it as a business venture. Ayala's criminal record and recent charges suggest he will never stop dealing drugs."

This afternoon, a dozen people, including an infant niece Ayala had never seen before, were in the gallery in support of Ayala.

When he stood to leave the courtroom with his guard, they shouted "We love you!" and "Keep your head up!"

April 13, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A Walnut Street, Batavia, man who pled guilty to criminal possession of controlled substance, 4th, and criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, was sentenced today to five years in state prison.

Cody A. Bush, about 29, is a second felony offender. He admits that he sold a quantity of suboxone, a controlled substance, in and around the City of Batavia and the Town of Elba to an agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. He was already in jail on related charges with he was arrested in November on the Class C felonies.

His attorney, Thomas Burns, asked Acting Genesee County Court Judge Pietruszka to sentence him to two to two-and-a-half years in prison, with credit for time served, and the ability to avail himself to substance abuse treatment and other beneficial programs while incarcerated.

"He does suffer from a drug problem and an addiction," Burns said. "There is awareness that it is his responsbility...He admits he had no right to convey and sell the drug to another person."

Burns said his client struggles with "an inability to take himself away from controlled substances," and yet he is also responsible for parenting four children.

"I let drug addiction ruin most of my adult life," Bush told the judge when given a chance to speak before being sentenced. "For that I am ashamed and sorry."

In addition to a determinate prison sentence of five years and three years post-release supervision, Pietruszka sentenced him to 12 months in county jail, to run concurrently with the prison sentence, for criminal possession of a weapon, 4th.

April 13, 2016 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
      Laura Fletcher

A 42-year-old Batavia woman told Presiding County Court Judge Michael F. Pietruska that she's willing to risk the possibility of a 24-year prison term in exchange for one more shot at drug rehab.

Laura Fletcher, a mother of four with three still of school age, will need to stay on the straight and narrow for two years to avoid prison if she pleads guilty April 18 to a four-count grand jury indictment for allegedly dealing drugs.

She has two prior drug-dealing convictions.

"Looking at her history, that is quite a risk," Pietruska said.

Those two prior convictions are the reason, said ADA Will Zickl, that Fletcher shouldn't get another shot at drug treatment.

"There is a demonstratable objective history in this case that I think makes it a very poor argument to be made that she should be given a chance in this program," Zickl said.

In the indictment issued in November, Fletcher is accused of selling cocaine in May and June to agents of the Local Drug Task Force. She is charged with four Class B felonies, two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

She's been approved for the program by a panel in Erie County, along with a recommendation from a local counselor. 

Her attorney Lisa Kroemer argued that Fletcher is willing to assume a substantial risk, given her track record, that she's fully aware of the consequences of failure, and that she desperately wants to succeed in the program.

Fletcher could potential get a lighter prison term in a plea deal, instead of pleading guilty to all four counts of the indictment.

She tearfully told Pietruska she understood the risk, but was willing to take the chance for a new chance at a clean life.

Kroemer said Fletcher has had periods between arrests where she was able to maintain sobriety before succumbing to her addiction again.

The prior drug sales convictions were "simply to support her own addiction," Kroemer said. "It was not part of any profit-making scheme."

April 12, 2016 - 4:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, byron, Oakfield, batavia, news.

Kevin C. Greene, 61, of Bloomingdale Road, Akron, is a convicted sex offender who is charged with failure to notify an address change within 10 days. He was arrested March 11 at noon for allegedly moving out of his residence in February 2015 and not filing an address change within 10 days. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia City Court on April 26. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Det. Eric Hill.

Carmelina Munoz Chavez, 48, of Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with driving while intoxicated. She was arrested at 12:40 a.m. on April 10 following a complaint of a motor-vehicle accident in the Town of Byron. The defendant's vehicle was located and upon investigation, the defendant was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Oakfield Town Court on May 9. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

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