Crime

This American Life recounts the tale of the con man of Narrowsburg

Above: Four Deadly Reasons, the film that sparked a Hollywood-worthy furor in the little Sullivan County hamlet of Narrowsburg over a decade ago.

Regular listeners of This American Life, a national radio program from Public Radio International, heard a local legend last week: The story of how the little Sullivan County hamlet of Narrowsburg fell for a smooth-talking two-bit actor named Richard Castellano, and let him walk off with tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for a few empty Hollywood promises.

In the January 18 show -- a repeat that first aired in 2000 -- producer Alex Blumberg talks to locals about how Castellano convinced a whole community to believe that he would put Narrowsburg on the path to movie stardom:  Read more

NBT Bank robbed in Sharon Springs

Several news outlets are reporting that an NBT Bank in Sharon Springs was robbed shortly after noon on Wednesday, and that state and local police are searching for the robber.

WKTV News reports that the robber -- described as a white man wearing a mask -- made off with over $10,000:

State Police say the masked man implied that he had a weapon on him, but did not display one in the course of the robbery. Authorities say the man left the bank on foot with more than $10,000 in cash.

No one was injured during the robbery and the bank was closed for the remainder of the day.

ABC News 10 reports that the robbery prompted the Sharon Springs Central School to go on lockdown for the afternoon, and has more description of the robber:  Read more

Covidien employee charged with drug trafficking

A Davenport man who was employed at the Covidien pharmaceutical plant in Hobart has been arrested on felony drug trafficking charges, after a lengthy investigation linked him to two other recent arrests involving the trafficking of oxycodone powder diverted from pharmaceutical manufacture.

Jason Wilsey, 33, turned himself in at the Delaware County courthouse on Tuesday morning, accompanied by his attorney. Wilsey is charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class A-I felony that carries a sentence of 8 to 20 years for first-time offenders.  Read more

Soldier arrested in gun theft case

A U.S. Army soldier from the Schoharie County town of Wright was arrested last week in connection with a two-year-old break-in at a local home that involved the theft of several guns.

State police in Cobleskill stated in a news release that Luke T. Aulita, 21, who had been stationed in Washington State, returned to New York State voluntarily and was arrested on January 11. He is charged with fourth-degree possession of stolen property, a felony charge.

Aulita had recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, according to a news account from the Times-Union. An Associated Press account states that Aulita was in the Army at the time he allegedly stole the guns:  Read more

Woodstock town board asks New York State to criminalize fracking

Not content to ban "fracking" for natural gas within town borders, Woodstock's town board has voted to petition New York State to make hydraulic fracturing a criminal offense.

According to an account in the Daily Freeman, the Woodstock town board voted to adopt the resolution in support of statewide criminalization at their Tuesday meeting, with three dozen audience members in support. The Woodstock board had previously adopted a ban on gas drilling, modeled after similar bans in other New York State towns, in August of 2012.

While the mainstream focus of the anti-fracking movement so far has been on pressuring the state to ban hydrofracking, or not to adopt regulations that would permit it, a movement to criminalize the technique has sprung up among the more uncompromising groups in the loose coalition of citizen activists that want to keep the gas drilling technique out of New York State.  Read more

Landlord fined $15,000 for dumping sewage into Catskill Creek

A man who was arrested in April for dumping hundreds of gallons of raw sewage into Catskill Creek from his three-unit rental property in Leeds has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, and will be fined $15,000 for the dumping.

James Sheerin, a resident of Ardsley in Westchester County, originally faced a felony charge for discharging raw sewage into the creek, which is a popular trout stream and swimming spot. From an April press release issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation at the time of Sheerin's arrest:

Following an investigation by DEC, Mr. Sheerin was charged with one count of discharging sewage to the waters of New York State without a permit, a Class E felony. The charge is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $75,000 per day of the violation.

On January 10, Sheerin pleaded guilty in Town of Catskill Court to a misdemeanor charge, and agreed to pay $15,000 to settle the charge.  Read more

Police trace local illegal drug trade to Covidien plant

The Daily Star is reporting that an employee at Covidien's Hobart plant, which manufactures pharmaceuticals, is suspected of smuggling oxycodone powder out of the plant. The employee, who is not named in the Daily Star article, is expected to face federal drug charges.

In December, Harpersfield resident Robert Wilsey was arrested and charged with drug possession after a search warrant turned up $50,000 worth of oxycodone powder in his possession. Delaware County sheriff's deputies did not announce Wilsey's arrest until January 11.

Police believe Wilsey got the powder from a Covidien employee, the Daily Star reports:

“We traced the oxycodone back to Covidien,” Delaware County Undersheriff Craig Dumond said.

A Covidien employee is suspected of stealing the drug from inside the plant and transfering it to Robert Willsey, 40, of Harpersfield.  Read more

Poughkeepsie man charged with murder of Greenville resident

After nearly two weeks of investigation, state police have made an arrest for the murder of 40-year-old Scott Myer, who was found dead in his Greenville home on New Year's Day.

Poughkeepsie resident Maurice L. Pratt, 30, was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder, according to information released by the New York State Police.

Myer's body was found after a neighbor noticed that his driveway had not been plowed after several snowstorms, according to an Associated Press report. He had been shot multiple times in the head. The AP also reported that Pratt and Myer knew one another, though the police have not speculated publicly about the motive for the killing.

According to a news account in the Daily Mail, Pratt was arrested at the Holiday Inn in Kingston. He was arraigned in Catskill town court and remanded to the Greene County Jail without bail.  Read more

Harpersfield man arrested with $50,000 worth of oxycodone powder

A Harpersfield man is facing felony drug charges after a search warrant turned up five ounces of oxycodone powder, with a street value of about $50,000.

Delaware County police arrested 40-year-old Robert J. Wilsey on December 21, 2012. The police did not notify local media of the arrest until today. Wilsey is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony offense.

Wilsey was arraigned in the Town of Stamford court and remanded to the Delaware County Correctional Facility without bail. Police say he is expected to face additional charges, and additional arrests are also forthcoming.

Wilsey's arrest is part of a continuing, joint investigation being conducted by the Delaware and Otsego County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Divisions and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in cooperation with the New York State Police.

Police say they are working with the security department at Covidien, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures prescription narcotics in Hobart, to investigate the diversion of pharmaceuticals into the local illegal drug trade.

Saugerties Key Bank robbed (updated)

The Daily Freeman reports that the Saugerties Key Bank was robbed at gunpoint at 11:44am this morning by a man who left on foot and remains at large.

Update: The Ulster County Sheriff's Office has released a photo of the robber (above). He is described as a white male, 5ft 10in, clean shaven, and wearing dark thick rimmed glasses, a green knit ski cap and a beige jacket. Anyone who recognizes this man or has any information isa sked to contact the Saugerties Police Department at (845) 246-9800.


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