Crime

Three locals face felony drug charges after Thruway stop

Two Margaretville residents and a Saugerties man face felony drug charges, after a search by a state police K-9 turned up almost 700 envelopes of heroin in the car they were traveling in.

On Sunday, Feb. 16 around 11:30 p.m., state police patrolling the New York State Thruway in the Rockland County town of Clarkstown pulled over a 1998 Dodge Stratus for vehicle and traffic infractions, according to a police news release. After the traffic stop, "Marty," a police K-9, alerted troopers to heroin hidden in a dashboard panel and the center console of the car. Troopers found 695 glassine envelopes of heroin, stamped with the brand "5 Star," and syringes. 

Arrested were 36-year-old Joshua Levine and 31-year-old Debra Osborne, both of Margaretville, and 41-year-old Charles Hall of Saugerties. All three face charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony, and possession of a hypodermic instrument, a class A misdemeanor. Levine, who was driving the car, was also charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.  Read more

DEP cop says Reese told him: "I shot Aron twice"

David Reese, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of DEP employee Aron Thomas, admitted to the act after the crime, a DEP police officer told a Kingston court judge on Monday.

At a preliminary hearing in Kingston city court on Monday, Feb. 10, Lieutenant Justin Kight of the DEP Police gave testimony about the events that unfolded on the morning of Monday, Feb. 3 at the DEP's Kingston office.

Reporter James Nani of the Times Herald-Record has an account of Kight's testimony, in which Kight told the courtroom that immediately after the shooting, Reese knocked on his door and allowed him to take a Glock pistol from Reese's jacket pocket.

Kight testified that as he was escorting Reese out of the building, Reese admitted to shooting Thomas, and alluded to some ongoing workplace dispute:

Kight said Reese told him "you know Aron's been stalking me," that "I shot Aron twice" and "you know they've been breaking into my office."  Read more

"Operation Angry Birds": Cockfighting ring busted in Ulster County

Above: Two roosters square off at a cockfight in Andhra Pradesh, India. Photo by Flickr user Vijay Chennupati; posted under Creative Commons license

About 3,000 roosters were seized from a Plattekill farm on Sunday, as part of what Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling "the largest cockfighting takedown in New York State history." 

The farm was breeding roosters for cockfights at a venue in Queens, with help from a Brooklyn pet shop, according to a press release from Schneiderman's office. Raids were carried out and arrests made at all three locations on Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Read more

Reese surrendered to DEP cop, sources say

The man charged with the recent shooting death of Aron Thomas turned himself in voluntarily to a DEP police officer before he was arrested, sources have told the Watershed Post. 

At 6:46 a.m. on Monday, police say, 53-year-old David Reese of Gilboa shot and killed a co-worker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 33-year-old Aron Thomas of Olivebridge. 

Kingston city police announced that they had arrested Reese, and recovered a handgun, within hours of the shooting. Few details about the shooting have been released, and police have not offered a possible motive.

But according to sources close to the incident, immediately after the shooting, Reese surrendered to another fellow DEP co-worker, an officer with the DEP Police who was also at work in the Kingston building. Reese also handed over his gun to the officer, sources said.   Read more

Fund set up for family of shooting victim Aron Thomas

Above: A photo of Aron Thomas posted on a GoFundMe page dedicated to a fund drive for his wife and children. Photo used with permission.

A fund has been started to benefit the wife and two young children of Aron Thomas, a 33-year-old Olivebridge man who was shot and killed at the Kingston office of the New York City DEP on Monday. 

One of Thomas's DEP coworkers, 53-year-old David Reese of Gilboa, was arrested after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder.

Thomas leaves behind his wife, Susan Thomas, and two children, a two-year-old boy and a girl just six weeks old. On Tuesday, Aron's sister, Kylene Thomas, started an online fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to help the family in the wake of Thomas's death. As of late Tuesday morning, the fund had raised about $1,600 of a $50,000 goal.

Kylene writes:  Read more

Fatal shooting at DEP office in Kingston

Left: David N. Reese, who was arrested and charged with murder in the 2nd degree after allegedly shooting a coworker at the DEP on February 3, 2014. Photo via the Kingston Police Department's Facebook page. 

A 33-year-old Olivebridge man was fatally shot by a coworker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection at 71 Smith Avenue around 6:45 a.m. on Monday morning. A suspect in the shooting was taken into custody at the scene shortly after the incident.  Read more

Hobart man charged with Stamford burglary

Left: Timothy Nodine. Photo courtesy of the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

A 24-year-old Hobart man has been accused of committing a burglary a a Stamford house in December, and also linked to stolen guns taken from the estate of a deceased South Kortright resident, according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

On Monday, Jan. 27, Delaware County sheriff's deputies arrested Timothy Nodine after a month-long investigation into a burglary in the village of Stamford. In the incident, police say, Nodine broke into the house and stole a television, a Playstation and other property.  Read more

Driver leads cops on wrong-way, lights-out chase on Thruway

Left: Julio A. Romano-Baez. Photo courtsey of New York State Police.

Early Sunday morning, 33-year-old Julio A. Romano-Baez was clocked driving 113 miles per hour with his headlights out on the  New York State Thruway in Ulster County, according to a press release from the New York State Police. Then he reportedly tried to escape arrest by driving the wrong way against traffic.

Romano-Baez, from the Bronx, was first spotted by state police officers driving a black BMW north on I-87 at 3:26 a.m. on January 26, 2014, the press release states. 

The police pursued Romano-Baez into the Malden Service Area, where he allegedly tried to shake them by driving the wrong way out of the rest area into northbound traffic.  Read more

Several injured at nightclub shooting in Highland

Above: A screenshot from GoogleMaps showing the location of the Home nightclub at 3353 Route 9W in Highland, in the Ulster County town of Lloyd. The nightclub recently changed its name, and was formerly known as the Primetime. 

A shooting at a nightclub on Route 9W in Highland around 4 a.m. Saturday morning left several people injured, including one suspect who was shot by police after fleeing the scene. 

Details are still emerging about the incident, but according to a news release from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office, a shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Home nightclub around 4 a.m., injuring two people who were taken to St. Francis Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

New York State, Ulster County and Town of Lloyd police responded to the scene, and followed a 2014 Nissan Altima believed to contain suspects in the shooting. According to Ulster County police, the car's occupants resisted: 

Upon stopping the Nissan, members of the Ulster County Sheriff's Department and Lloyd Police encountered resistance and the driver of the Nissan was struck by police gunfire and sustained a non-life threatening injury. 

Two officers were also taken to St. Francis for minor injuries. The release does not say how they were sustained, or which officers were hurt. 

Police recovered two illegal handguns from the Nissan, and arrested its four occupants. They also arrested two suspects who fled the area on foot, one of whom was also carrying an illegal handgun. 

Route 9W was closed for the investigation, and remains closed while state police forensics investigators examine the scenes. 

A press conference about the incident was held at 10:30 a.m. at the Lloyd Police Department. The Watershed Post was unable to attend, but we will link to news reports with more information as they emerge.

Police ask that anyone with additional information should contact the state troopers at the Highland Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 845-691-2922, or the tips lines at the Lloyd Police Department at 845-691-7407.

Update, 11:55 a.m.: Route 9W has been reopened. 

The Poughkeepsie Journal has live tweets from the press conference (embedded below):

 

  Read more

Police seek driver in Thruway hit-and-run

A tow truck operator was injured in a hit-and-run accident while walking on the shoulder of I-87 near Exit 21 in the town of Athens on Thursday night, leaving him injured. Police are looking for the driver who left the scene.

The accident occurred around 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, when 21-year-old John Hanzl of Palenville, an employee of Gallagher's Garage in Catskill, was responding to a disabled vehicle on the southbound shoulder of I-87. While walking toward the vehicle, Hanzl was hit by a black pickup truck. He was transported to Albany Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. 

Police described the vehicle that struck Hanzl as an older black Toyota Tundra pickup, possibly a 1990s model, with a dented and rusted back end, and possibly a broken taillight. 

State troopers are asking for anyone with information about the incident to contact Troop T at 1-800-842-2233.


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