Crime

Mount Tremper chemical spill linked to Fleischmanns junkyard operator

Above: Piles of earth surrounded by hay bales and covered with tarps dot William Hrazanek's Wittenberg Road property in Shandaken on July 11. They are part of the remediation of a chemical spill on his property. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

A large chemical spill was discovered last month on land in the town of Shandaken owned by Catskills junkyard operator William Hrazanek. The spill occurred near a tributary of the Esopus Creek.

In an incident that appears to be related, several of Hrazanek's junkyards in Fleischmanns, across the county line in Delaware County, were raided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on July 9.

Despite Freedom of Information Law requests by the Watershed Post, neither the DEC nor the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have released any information about the chemical spill, nor have they indicated whether nearby wells or the Esopus Creek were contaminated.  Read more

Jennifer Morris re-arrested for threats on Walton school

It took months of police work, and an investigation that involved a slew of law enforcement agencies, from the Walton village police to the FBI, but it finally happened: An arrest has been made in connection with a series of sadistic Facebook threats made to children in the Walton Central School District

While the arrest is sure to be welcome news to the community, it did not come soon enough to prevent months of threats, online harassment, police searches at the schools, and -- a final indignity -- the cancellation of the last day of class at the Townsend Elementary School on Thursday.  Read more

Delaware County drug sweep nets eight arrests

A five-month investigation into local drug activity in Delaware County has netted eight arrests, county police announced today. Five women and three men were arrested recently and charged with a variety of heroin- and prescription-drug-related offenses.

According to a statement from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, the arrests were made after a county grand jury handed down a number of sealed indictment warrants on Friday, June 14. The investigation and arrests were carried out by sheriff's deputies along with the Delaware County Probation Department, the Walton and Sidney village police departments, the Chenango County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police.

The investigation is ongoing, and undersheriff Craig DuMond said more arrests are pending.

A list of the arrestees, from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office:  Read more

Roxbury man charged with bear poaching

A 66-year-old Roxbury man was recently arrested on bear poaching charges, after allegedly shooting and killing a bear across the street from his house. 

On May 26, according to a statement from the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC), Roxbury resident George W. Wyble fired his rifle at an 85-pound black bear that he saw walking across the street from his house.

Investigating the incident, DEC officers and the Roxbury town constable found that the Roxbury highway department had found a dead bear near Wyble's house. A necropsy by the DEC's wildlife pathology lab found that the bear had been killed by a single gunshot wound. Wyble admitted firing on the bear.

Wyble was arrested on June 6, and charged with shooting across a public highway and killing a bear out of season. If convicted, Wyble could face up to a $2,000 fine or up to 90 days in jail for each offense.

Driver at large in Marlborough hit-and-run

State police are looking for a New Jersey man after a Sunday evening hit-and-run accident in Marlborough that left a woman injured.

At 9:17pm Sunday, a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban was driving the wrong way on one-way Western Avenue, police say. The Chevrolet collided with a 2006 Honda Civic, struck three parked cars, turned onto Route 9W, and struck another parked car. The driver, who police say is 39-year-old Juan Flores-Fernandez of Brick, New Jersey, then abandoned the car and fled. 

The driver of the Honda Civic, 27-year-old Marlborough resident Stephanie Mitchell, received minor injuries in the accident. Mitchell was transported to St. Francis Hospital by Mobile Life, treated and released .

Charges against Flores-Fernandez are pending. Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to call New York State Police at Highland at 845-691-2922.

Assisting in the incident, along with state troopers, were the Marlborough Police Department, Marlborough Fire Department and Mobile Life Support. 

Threats made to Walton and Downsville schools

In a routine that has become all too familiar in the region lately, police were called to two Delaware County schools today, after threats to the schools were made on Facebook. The threats at Walton and Downsville schools come during the last few days of school, when high school students are taking Regents exams and end-of-year ceremonies are wrapping up.

The Walton Central School District has been subjected to a barrage of disturbing Facebook threats throughout much of the school year. The arrest of a local woman in connection with the threats in January -- 27-year-old Jennifer Morris -- did not put an end to the threats, which resumed again in early May  Read more

Large pot growing operation busted in Narrowsburg

A 38-year-old Narrowsburg man was arrested on Wednesday, June 12 after state troopers found a marijuana growing operation in a Ryder Road home. 

In a search of the home, police found over 100 plants and more than 10 pounds of processed marijuana, according to a statement from New York State Police. Vladimir Ignatenkov was arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana and unlawfully growing cannabis.

Ignatenkov was arraigned in Tusten town court and remanded to the Sullivan County Jail on $15,000 cash bail. Police say the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

Assisting in the investigation, along with state troopers, are the Westchester County Drug Task Force and Town of Greenburgh Police Department.

Chichester man arrested for burglary and stalking

A 55-year-old Chichester man was arrested Monday on burglary and other charges and jailed.

According to a brief statement from the Shandaken Police Department, Randy J. Ostrander was arrested at 6:40pm on Monday, June 10. He faces charges of second-degree burglary, forcible touching and second-degree stalking. 

Ostrander was arraigned in Shandaken town court and remanded to the custody of the Ulster County Sheriff's Department on $30,000 cash bail or $60,000 bond.

Several calls to Shandaken police for more information on the circumstances of Ostrander's arrest were not returned. The New York State Police, who assisted with the case, declined to release any information since the case fell under the jurisdiction of Shandaken police.  Read more

Napping in tractor: Still counts as DWI, for Davenport supervisor

Not a good place to sleep off a few. Photo of tractor by Flickr user Leo Reynolds; published under Creative Commons license.

Hot off the press at the Daily Star: Dennis Valente, town supervisor of Davenport, has been arrested on DWI charges after falling asleep behind the wheel of his tractor with the engine off. With a prior arrest already on Valente's record, the charge was elevated to a felony offense, Denise Richardson reports:  Read more

They've been burgling on the railroad (allegedly)

Two Herkimer County men were arrested recently after they were caught red-handed stealing railroad spikes and spike plates from the Canadian Pacific Rail line in Richmondville, according to a statement from the New York State Police.

On Friday, May 31, state troopers responded to a report of a Pontiac driving east on the Canadian Pacific rail right-of-way near Raven Road. Arriving on the scene, troopers found one man loading railroad spike plates into the open trunk of a tan Pontiac Grand Am, and another man in the driver's seat. In the trunk, troopers found steel spike plates, spikes and J-hooks.

Arrested on the scene were 32-year-old Eric S. Markwardt of Dolgeville and 36-year-old Matthew E. Victor of Salisbury Center. Both men were charged with third-degree criminal trespass and petit larceny, both misdemeanors. They were released on appearance tickets for the Town of Richmondville Court.


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