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Le Roy man in 'shots fired' case sent to prison for 10 years on multiple criminal charges

By Howard B. Owens
Arthur Brown

Before sending him to prison for 10 years, Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini wondered at the criminal history of Arthur Brown, 45, of Le Roy, whom she observed is clearly intelligent, is well-spoken, and knows to advocate for himself.

Why, she wondered, why he keeps engaging in criminal activity when Brown could do so much more with his life.

Brown was sentenced on three separate criminal cases, the most notorious, an incident in September 2021 when he fled from a traffic stop after being seen driving erratically on Route 33 through Bergen and Stafford.  Brown ran into a cornfield, and Deputy Kevin Quackenbush started a foot pursuit but stopped when he apparently saw Brown pull a handgun from his waistband.  Quackenbush retreated, and then there was a loud bang.

Quackenbush reported to dispatch, "shots fired." This was the start of a several-hour, multi-department manhunt that eventually led to the arrest of Brown and the recovery of a handgun.  The loud bangs turned out to be from a wildlife scare cannon.

Brown has consistently maintained that the gun officers found was not his, and on Friday, he accused of Quckenbush of not telling the whole truth about the incident, such as, he said, Brown's DNA wasn't on the gun nor were his fingerprints.

ADA Joseph Robinson noted after Brown's statement that the gun wasn't checked for fingerprints.

shots fired
Deputy Kenneth Quckenbush taking position behind his patrol vehicle after bangs were heard in a farm field on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, on Sept. 19, 2021. A suspect had run into the field and apparently displayed a firearm before the bang was heard.  The bangs turned out to a wildlife scare cannon.
File photo by Howard Owens.

After initially indicating he intended to take the charges against him to a jury, in February, he entered guilty pleas to multiple charges, including second-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a Class D violent offense, third-degree attempted criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell, a Class B felony, in connection with an arrest in January of this year in the City of Batavia, and to one count of violating the Sex Offender Registration Act, a Class E felony, for failing to register as a sex offender upon a change of address.

In arguing for the maximum possible sentence against Brown (the 10 years Cianfrini eventually imposed), Robinson said that Brown's long criminal history and habit of saying things that attempt to explain away or minimize his criminal activity made him a danger to society.

Robinson listed Brown's past criminal activity:

  • In 1994, Brown was adjudicated a youthful offender in a criminal case and violated probation within a year.
  • In 1995, he was sentenced to a year in jail.
  • In 1998, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on a robbery 2nd conviction.
  • In 2005, he was convicted of rape 3rd and sentenced to 18 months to three years in prison.
  • In 2010 he as conflicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance 4th and sentenced to two years in prison.
  • In 2015, he was convicted of two sexual offender registration violations.
  • In was released from prison on that conviction in 2021 one, just weeks before the incident on Clinton Street Road.

The plea Brown accepted, Robinson said, satisfied not only the pending charges already filed against Brown but also four ongoing drug dealing investigations being conducted by the Local Drug Task Force that had not yet led to charges.

Robinson said Brown seems to spend more time in prison and free.

"If he's not serving time on a conviction, he's out committing more crimes," Robison said.

Robinson noted that Brown hasn't accepted responsibility for possessing a gun in September, and he said that when Brown was accused of possessing a bag of cocaine, Brown told probation officers during his pre-sentence interview that officers found the bag in a bush and not on his person.  That was an example, Robinson said, of the defendant minimizing his responsibility for his actions. 

Another dealt with Brown's SORA violation.  Brown said, according to Robinson, that he didn't think he needed to register a change of address because he merely moved from one room to another in a hotel complex.  

Defense attorney Joseph Lobosco said his client did accept responsibility for his actions and suggested that Robinson was mischaracterizing Brown's interview with probation officers. He said the interview took hours, and the report didn't include direct quotes from Brown but paraphrases from officers written after the interview.

Brown said it was unfair of the ADA to he didn't accept responsibility for his crimes. 

He said there was the DNA of three other people on the gun but not his.  He also complained that a confidential informant used in the drug sales investigation was facing six criminal charges, which wasn't disclosed, he said. 

"I take responsibility for what I've done, and I don't make excuses," Brown said. "But I don't take responsibility for what I didn't do." 

Cianfrini said she hopes Brown will use his time in prison to better his life, to learn new skills, and reflect on the direction his life has taken.

"You could do something worthwhile with your life," she said.

On the SORA violation, Cianfrini sentenced him to 2 to 4 years in prison. On the attempted criminal possession of a weapon conviction, seven years in prison. On the criminal possession of a controlled substance conviction, 10 years in prison.  All sentences are to be served concurrently.


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