A "main player" in local heroin trade arrested, Sullivan cops say

Deputies from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department say they have made a major strike against local drug trade with the Thursday arrest of Angel Mulero, a 24-year-old Monticello resident. Mulero is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony.

According to a news article in the Times Herald-Record, Mulero was a believer in the value of branding:

Deputies say he was stamping his packages with the names “heavy hitter” and “melaza,” which means molasses. Sheriff Mike Schiff said many other dealers have stopped branding their heroin packages to avoid being linked to overdose deaths.

Prison nurse arrested on contraband charges

A registered nurse from New Paltz who works at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility is charged with promoting prison contraband and petit larceny, after police found her in possession of stolen prescription drugs while working at the prison.

The New York State Police and Department of Corrections Inspector General's Office announced the arrest of 25-year-old Amanda L. Ragule on Tuesday. Ragule was arraigned in the Town of Shawangunk Court and released on her own recognizance to return on a later date.

The more serious charge of the two Ragule faces -- promoting prison contraband in the first degree -- is a felony.

Walton woman arrested for making death threats to children

On Monday, the Village of Walton Police Department arrested 27-year-old Walton resident Jennifer L. Morris, in connection with a series of graphic and disturbing death threats made on Facebook to Walton children last week.

Although police say more charges are pending, Morris faces only misdemeanor charges: Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Some of the threatening messages and photos that she is accused of posting are still online at Facebook.

The Walton police issued a brief news release about the arrest:

On January 5th 2013 the Village of Walton Police Department received a complaint of unauthorized access into a Facebook account involving threats to various individuals, including children. Over the past two days several more threats were received by other individuals in and around the Village and Town of Walton. An extensive investigation was conducted by the Walton Police Department and the Delaware County Sheriff's Office which has led to the arrest of Jennifer L. Morris age 27 of Walton.  Read more

Walton children targeted with online death threats and pornography

Several children in the Walton Central School District have been targeted by an unknown person who used Facebook to spread pornography, tag pictures of dead children with the names of local students, and threaten to reenact the Sandy Hook shootings in Walton.

Local residents have also been using Facebook to warn each other about the messages and urge their friends not to accept new friend requests through the site. The harasser has been using several accounts, including "Anthony McCool," "Cody Haha F," and "Cody Farwell." At least one of the accounts appears to have belonged to an innocent Facebook user whose account was hacked.

As recently as Sunday night, one account -- "Cody Farwell" -- was still active, and displaying a recent threat:

Above: A threatening message posted on Saturday by a harasser posing on Facebook as "Cody Farwell." Names in the message have been redacted.

Walton Central School District Superintendent George Mack said that he was first made aware of the situation over the weekend.  Read more

Police investigating Greenville homicide

New York State Police in Catskill announced today that they are investigating the death of a Greenville resident, 40-year-old Scott Myer, as a homicide.

On Tuesday, police were called to check on Myer's welfare at his home at 262 West Road. Responding officers found Myer dead, the victim of an apparent homicide.

Anyone with information is urged to call the New York State Police at 518-622-8600.

Murder-suicide plot by Phoenicia man foiled, say Saugerties police

A truly tabloid-worthy story in today's Daily Freeman: Saugerties police have arrested a Phoenicia man who allegedly plotted to shoot his ex-girlfriend and then himself.

John R. Howland of Church Street in Phoenicia, 63, was arrested after a Saugerties resident called police to report that Howland was on his property with a shotgun making threats. Howland then led police from several agencies on a dramatic car chase from Saugerties to Woodstock. The Freeman writes:  Read more

Schoharie County to post armed guards at Richmondville DMV

Photo of armed officer by Flickr user grendelkhan. Published under Creative Commons license.

Security will soon be beefed up at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Schoharie County. Prompted by fears of mass shootings like the recent school killings in Newtown, and worries about the security of the DMV's temporary space, county supervisors voted at their regular board meeting last week to install a security camera and hire two new part-time deputies to guard the office.

Since the fall of 2011, when their Schoharie village office was damaged in the Irene floods, the Schoharie County DMV has been located in a temporary space in the Lancaster Development office in Richmondville. The Daily Gazette reports in a story about the decision that security has been an increasing problem at the Richmondville DMV for some time, but that the Newtown massacre made it a more pressing issue:  Read more

Local schools respond to Newtown shooting

In the wake of last Friday's horrifying shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 people dead, including 20 children, schools around the Catskills are increasing their security. 

The Daily Mail reported this week that students at both schools in Catskill in Greene County will now find an armed police officer at the door when they arrive in the morning. An officer will be present throughout the school day, and doors will be checked on an hourly basis to make sure they remain locked. The plan will remain in place for the immediate future.

Catskill Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Farrell, also present at Darling’s office, said it will continue at least until the end of the Christmas break, Wednesday, Jan. 2, when students return to school.  Read more

Schoharie man arrested for string of Schenectady County burglaries

A Schoharie resident is charged with committing three separate burglaries in Schenectady County, the most recent of which involved the theft of an ATM machine and the vandalization of a jukebox at a Quaker Inn in Duanesburg.

On Sunday night, state police arrested 28-year-old Scott A. Clapper during a routine traffic stop, when a trooper noticed 90 crisp, new $20 bills and several hundred $1 bills in Clapper's car.

A search performed later at Clapper's home discovered items that linked him to a burglary in Schenectady County and an attempted burglary at Jonathan’s Restaurant in Duanesburg.

Clapper is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and one count of third-degree attempted burglary.

Clapper was arraigned in the Town of Princetown Court and remanded to the Schenectady County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in Duanesburg Court on Wednesday, December 12 at 7pm.  Read more

Ulster County DA links Kingston teacher's drug arrest to death of Hurley man

The Daily Freeman has dug up a shocking new piece of information about the Sunday arrest of 42-year-old Matthew DiDonna, a social studies teacher at Kingston High School and Hurley resident, on felony drug charges: DiDonna was arrested after a neighbor's sudden death.

Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright told the Freeman that DiDonna was arrested after 38-year-old Mark Conlin, a father of three and a resident of DeWitt Mills Road in Hurley, ingested some hallucinogenic mushrooms and later died in his wife's arms:  Read more

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