Crime

Inmate dies at Sullivan Correctional Facility

Above: The sign at the Sullivan Correctional Facility. Photo by Medic18 via Wikipedia. 

An inmate at the maximum security Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg is dead and three correctional officers are injured, two with "serious physical injuries," according to the Daily Freeman, the Times Herald-Record and the Sullivan County Democrat.

Details about the incident are sketchy. The THR talked to a spokesman for the corrections officers union, which has been calling for more staff in mid-Hudson prisons.

From the THR:  Read more

Two arrested in cocaine bust in Delaware County town of Middletown

A New Jersey man and a Delaware County, New York woman were arrested on Friday, April 10 after New York State Police narcotics investigators found cocaine in the man's car during a traffic stop and raided the woman's Arkville residence, police say.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jose Ozuna was driving on Route 28 in Delaware County on Friday night at 10 p.m. when Southern Tier State Police drug investigators and uniformed state police personnel pulled him over and searched his vehicle, according to a State Police press release. The officers reported that they found five ounces of cocaine, a digital scale, a switchblade and $580 in cash in Ozuna's vehicle.

Left: Dawn Hayden (top) and Jose Ozuna. Via the New York State Police. 

After Ozuna was arrested, narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at the home of 26-year-old Dawn Hayden, on Elliot Hills Road in Arkville in the Delaware County town of Middletown. Police say that they found a loaded .32 caliber revolver, a "Savage Model 30E" 12-gauge shotgun, a switchblade knife, a digital scale, a small amount of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia and four cell phones in Hayden's home.  Read more

Man stole $5,500 from his grandmother, police say

A 23-year-old Oneonta man stole $5,500 from his elderly grandmother and damaged a house she owns in Davenport, police say.

Aaron Macken (left) was arrested on Tuesday, April 7 and was charged with writing fraudulent checks on his grandmother's checking account, according to a press release from the New York State Police:

Macken had been stealing over $5,500.00 from his elderly grandmother’s checking account by cashing several fraudulent checks in 2014 and 2015.

Police caught wind of Macken's activities after being called to Davenport to investigate a possible burglary at a house his grandmother owns on Hansen Road on March 24, the press release states. Eventually, police charged Macken with damaging windows and cabinets in that house.

Police charged Macken with 17 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony. They also charged him with felony grand larceny and criminal mischief.  Read more

Three people killed in Cherry Valley Fire

Three people were found dead after a fire consumed a home in the Otsego County town of Cherry Valley early on Thursday, April 2, according to the New York State Police. From the press release: 

On April 2, 2015, The New York State Police in Richfield Springs, in conjunction with the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and Otsego County Emergency Management Team, are investigating a fatal residential fire that occurred at approximately 3:45 AM at 165 Hone Road in the Town of Cherry Valley, Otsego County. Three deceased subjects were located in the residence. Positive identification of the deceased subjects are pending autopsies and further investigation. Cherry Valley and Sharon Springs Fire Departments responded to the scene. The manner and cause of death are pending and the investigation is continuing.

4/3/15 update: The three killed were children, the Daily Star reports:  Read more

Citing "misconduct and abuse of authority," court removes Monticello's mayor from office

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Above: Video footage of Monticello mayor Gordon Jenkins ranting and throwing a clock while in a booking room on a drunk driving arrest in November 2013. (Warning: There's a lot of profanity. Jenkins throws the clock at the 1:21:55 mark.)

Monticello's troubled mayor, Gordon Jenkins, has been removed from office by a three-judge panel of the New York State Supreme Court's Third Appellate Division, according to a decision the court released on Thursday, April 2.

Citing a "serious pattern of abuse of authority and misbehavior," the court wrote that Jenkins is "hereby removed from the public offices of Mayor and Village Manager of the Village of Monticello." The removal appears to take effect immediately.   Read more

Stamford man flees police barefoot with 'limited clothing' for miles over snow-covered mountain

Above: Wooded mountain terrain on the border of Delaware and Schoharie counties where a 25-year-old man spent hours fleeing police on Friday, March 27. Photo via Google Earth.

A 25-year-old Stamford man jumped out his window and fled into the woods wearing "limited clothing" when probation officers came looking for him about a probation violation on the morning of Friday, March 27, police say.

Jesse E. Papas had no shoes and wore only "limited clothing," but he led sheriff's deputies, probation officers, a New York State Department of Conservation police officer and a trained police dog for miles on frozen snow over a mountain and into the next county before being caught, according to a Delaware County Sheriff's Office press release.

Ozzie, a trained drug-sniffing police dog that works with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, was key to the chase, police say:  Read more

Woodstock gas station manager stole $48,000 in lottery tickets, police say

Above: The Cumberland Farms convenience store on Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. Photo via Google Street View. 

While Peter Dinnocenzo was managing Woodstock's Cumberland Farms gas station convenience store on Mill Hill Road in Ulster County in 2013 and 2014, he was stealing $48,000 in lottery scratch-off tickets, the New York State Police said this week.

Left: Peter Dinnocenzo, via the New York State Police.  Read more

Hancock man stockpiled 20 pounds of C4 plastic explosives, police say

Above: A satellite image of Stephen D. Esolen's residence. Esolen buried 20 pounds of plastic explosives nearby, police say. Via Google Earth. 

A 24-year-old man stockpiled a large amount of bomb-making material in his home and on another property he had burglarized in the Delaware County town of Hancock, police say. 

Left: Stephen D. Esolen. Photo via the New York State Police. 

Stephen D. Esolen was arrested on Tuesday, March 17 after New York State Police and Delaware County Sheriff's Office investigators discovered that he had buried 20 pounds of powerful C4 plastic explosives near his home on County Route 67 in Hancock, according to a State Police press release.

A pound of C4 can demolish a truck, according to HowStuffWorks.com.  Read more

The Kingfisher Project tells stories of heroin addiction in the Catskills

Above: A bag of heroin. Photo from a series of photographs shot by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio documenting heroin use.  

Heroin addiction is sweeping through the Catskills, taking lives with it. (Here at the Watershed Post, we write more crime stories about heroin than about any other drug.) 

In 2013, 89,269 people enrolled in heroin drug-treatment programs in New York state; in 2014, that number jumped to 118,000, according to data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Heroin abuse is growing the fastest among the young, among ages 18 to 34. Politicians are worried; the governor launched a statewide campaign to battle heroin abuse last fall. 

Locally, the toll is growing. A doctor at Catskill Regional Medical Center calls heroin a "public health crisis." Delaware County's undersheriff says that despite record heroin busts, "more people are using drugs, overdose deaths have accelerated and jails are crowded." Community forums on the topic are being held around the region. 

The Kingfisher Project, a collaborative storytelling and reporting initiative based at WJFF 90.5 FM in Jeffersonville, is digging deep into the heroin epidemic in the Catskills and beyond. 

  Read more

Oneonta murder-suicide: Man shot woman twice, then killed himself, police say

A man shot a woman twice and then shot himself on the afternoon of Saturday, March 7 in Oneonta, a forensic pathologist has concluded.

The two were found dead outside their rented home in Oneonta on Sunday, March 8, in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide, according to a New York State Police press release and the Daily Star

Forty-four-year-old Tifanne K. Wells and 51-year-old George L. Jones were found dead outside behind a house on County Road 47 in Oneonta at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 8 by state troopers, who were responding to a 911 call from a "concerned party." Both bodies are undergoing autopsies at Lourdes Hospital in Johnson City as part of the investigation, which is ongoing.  Read more


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