Find us on Facebook
Local Sports


3597 Yates Community Library
3580 Albion FD
3556 Village of Holley
3483 Medina Lions Club
3563 Brian Millis
3632 West Barre Methodist
3586 Albion First Presbyterian
3614 Albion Central School
3577 Strawberry Festival
3600 OO Yacht Club
3578 COVA
0231 LCP Fishing Hotline
2308 I Saw It On The Hub
2192 LCP Printing Copying Services
2374 Link to LCP

county court

Medina woman found guilty at trial for drug crimes, unlawful possession of weapon

Staff Reports Posted 12 May 2017 at 5:18 pm

Erika Poole

ALBION – A Medina woman was found guilty during a trial that concluded today. Erika Poole, 37, was charged last July for criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance.

Jurors found her guilty of selling and possessing cocaine. During a search of her residence on Salt Works Road, police also found a shotgun.

Poole, who had a prior felony, wasn’t allowed to have a weapon, District Attorney Joe Cardone said this afternoon.

Poole was found guilty of three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (for having cocaine with the intent to sell) and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree (for having more than 500 milligrams of cocaine). She also was found guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon.

She will be sentenced in July and could face several years in prison.

The Poole trial may have been the final criminal trial for Judge James Punch, who is retiring July 29.

Return to top

Judge sets bail at $300K for Rochester man facing drug charges in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2017 at 10:08 am

ALBION – A Rochester man was arraigned in Orleans County Court on Monday for 13 counts of drug charges, including six counts each of third-degree criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Victor T. Simmons, 46, of 1399 North St. also was arraigned for one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Orleans County Court Judge James Punch set bail at $300,000 for Simmons. District Attorney Joe Cardone said Simmons has a “37-page criminal history” that includes four felonies in New York State and other out-of-state convictions.

Punch cited that “remarkable criminal history” as well as numerous failures to appear in court for setting bail at $300,000.

Simmons was arrested in March along with a 17-year-old male from Rochester after an investigation into the sale and distribution of heroin and cocaine from Rochester to the Village of Albion, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force reported.

The Task Force and the Albion Police Department, with its K9 unit, executed a search warrant on a vehicle and the two occupants on Wednesday. Officers seized a quantity of heroin and crack cocaine that was packaged for sale.

In other cases in County Court:

• Shawna N. Weis, 29, of the Holley Hotel was arraigned for criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

She allegedly sold both heroin and cocaine at the Holley Hotel, police reported. She was arrested on April 4.

Her attorney, Michael O’Keefe, entered not guilty pleas on her behalf. He said Weis would like to enter a drug treatment program.

Weis has a prior felony and two misdemeanors. Punch set bail at $10,000.

• Cynthia Lopez-Lopez, 39, of Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road was arraigned on one count each of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. Lopez-Lopez allegedly sold suboxone in Albion, police said. She pleaded not guilty.

She has a criminal history in Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia, Cardone said at the arraignment. Punch set bail at $15,000.

• A Murray resident was prepared to plead guilty to attempted assault in the third degree after an alleged domestic violence incident on Jan. 1.

Todd J. Knight II, 25, of Hulberton Road admitted in court to injuring a woman. He caused a concussion, “massive swelling” on the right side of her head, a fractured rib, contusions and other injuries, Cardone said.

The woman has recovered and there is a question whether she sustained a level of “serious physical injuries” to meet the threshold for attempted second degree assault.

The case was adjourned until May 15 to determine the victim’s level of injuries.

If the injuries are severe enough, Knight could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison as part of a plea deal.

Return to top

8th Judicial District says interim judges will fill in for short term after Punch retires

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2017 at 9:07 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Courthouse is pictured last week. Judge James Punch has worked out of the building the past 32 years, with 27 as county judge and five as district attorney.

ALBION – The impending retirement of James Punch as a judge for several courts in Orleans County will leave a void that may take more than one judge to fill after Punch retires on July 29.

The 8th Judicial District is working on a plan to have coverage in Orleans County for the different courts led by Punch: Criminal Court, Family Court, Surrogate’s Court and State Supreme Court.

Punch is retiring after 27 years on the bench. Before he was elected judge, he was the county’s district attorney for five years.

James Punch

“Judge Punch is a highly respected judge in the 8th Judicial District and he will be missed,” said Andrew B. Isenberg, the district executive for the District based in Buffalo.

The Honorable Paula L. Feroleto, the District Administrative Judge, will have interim judges serving in Orleans County in the four different courts currently led by Punch.

“She is putting together that plan,” Isenberg said. “I can assure you there will not be a drop in judicial coverage.”

Punch is a “multi-hat” judge, serving in several roles or different courts, which isn’t unusual in a small rural county. Isenberg said the county’s next judge will have to serve in multiple roles.

The 8th Judicial District will have a mentor judge to help Punch’s replacement, and an outside judge will likely handle the Supreme Court cases in the short-term while the new judge gains experience, Isenberg said.

Punch is retiring with about three years left on a 10-year term. The remainder of the term will likely be on the ballot in November.

Ed Morgan, the Orleans County Republican Party chairman, said he has contacted the State Board of Elections and an election law attorney to check for the proper procedures to have a candidate on the ballot in November. The Republican Party made its endorsements on April 27 for county level positions in November.

Return to top

Judge Punch announces he will retire July 29

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2017 at 9:45 am

James Punch

ALBION – Orleans County Court Judge James Punch has announced he is retiring on July 29. Punch has served as County Court judge for nearly 27 years.

Prior to being elected judge, Punch served as the county’s district attorney for five years.

Punch issued this statement announcing his retirement:

“In the last 27 years of my 32 years in public office, I have been honored to serve in the County Court, Family Court, Surrogate Court, and Supreme Court of our county.  I also served as Drug Court and Domestic Violence Court Judge.

“I came in as the youngest county level judge in New York State, and I leave as the senior county court judge in Western New York.

“It is with some sadness that I leave, but I look forward to new challenges, as well as spending more time with my wife, Suzanne, and our children and grandchildren. I am also looking forward to exploring new ways in which to contribute to our community.

“I wish to thank my wonderful staff (both current and former), the many attorneys, case workers and law enforcement personnel I have worked with, and the people in this county who put their faith in me to help protect them and our community for these many years.”

Punch is a 1973 Medina graduate. He was inducted into Medina’s Alumni Hall of Fame in November 2014.

After graduating from Medina, Punch earned his bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo and then earned a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980.

Punch has been active in the community, in addition to serving in a high-profile and demanding position.

He has served as legal advisor to Medina High School’s mock trial team. He also has been active with the Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, YMCA Board, Boy Scout Executive Committee, and the Holy Trinity Parish.

Punch, during the Hall of Fame induction in November 2014, addressed high school students and encouraged them to always move forward. They shouldn’t sit back and dwell on either success or failure.

“Don’t define yourself as ‘having succeeded’ and decide nothing more needs to be done – ‘I’m perfect,’” Punch told students during the Nov. 7 Hall of Fame celebration. “Equally, don’t define yourself by your failure and decide nothing more can be done – ‘I’m hopeless.’”

Punch said during the Hall of Fame induction he is grateful for a career in Medina and Orleans County. He told the students he hopes many of them will be able to stay in the Medina area and contribute to the community.

Return to top

Contractor gets 1 to 3 years for accepting money but not following through with work

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 May 2017 at 9:48 am

ALBION – A Dansville man was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for scheme to defraud in the first degree, after he accepted more than $30,000 from three customers in Orleans County for new pole barns, but didn’t do the work.

Michael W. Oldfeld, 48, also was ordered to pay restitution, plus 5 percent interest for three Orleans County residents. The restitution includes $13,618 for one resident, $9,600 for a second victim, and $9,500 for another.

Oldfeld also has 13 victims in six other counties. Those cases are separate from the three in Orleans.

“This conduct was extensive throughout western and central New York,” District Attorney Joe Cardone said during sentencing on Monday afternoon. “There are many victims and thousands of dollars.”

Oldfeld is represented by attorney Nathan Pace, who said Oldfeld has taken responsibility for the crime and is determined to pay back the victims.

“Since day one, Mr. Oldfeld has stated his desire to make people completely whole,” Pace said.

Oldfeld will likely have his future pay garnished as part of a restitution plan for the victims, Pace said.

“You have a man truly trying, hoping to work on the debts,” Pace said.

Pace said the state Attorney General’s Office is working on a restitution number for the 16 victims. Pace asked that County Court Judge James Punch hold off on the sentencing until the Attorney General has a total restitution figure.

Punch said he is focused on the three victims in Orleans County and wasn’t going to wait on the Attorney General’s determination for total restitution for all 16 victims in seven counties.

“I have three victims in my county who were ripped off,” Punch told Oldfeld during sentencing. “You did enough here to go to prison.”

Pace said Oldfeld’s business was struggling, and he used payments from customers to try to keep up with his bills.

“He didn’t intend to steal,” Pace said. “He was robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Punch said the crimes, taking the sizable funds and not doing the work, has been difficult for the victims.

“It isn’t so easy to scrape together $10,000,” Punch told Oldfeld. “You have destroyed the plans for three families.”

Return to top

3 Holley adults charged after allegedly encouraging children to fight

Staff Reports Posted 8 May 2017 at 4:12 pm

David E. Brege

HOLLEY – The Holley Police Department has charged three people for endangering the welfare of children for allegedly encouraging 13- and 14-year-old children to fight.

Police arrested Tina M. Krueger , 36, of Holley; David E. Brege, 30, of Holley; and Launey M. Dambra, 35, of Holley.

Tina M. Krueger

In addition to endangering the welfare of a child, they also have been charged with disorderly conduct.

The fight was supervised and allowed to take place by parents of the children involved and an additional adult, Holley Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

The fight was also captured on video by other bystanders. The video clearly shows the adults watching and encouraging the conduct, Nenni said.

Launey M. Dambra

The Holley Police Department was assisted in the investigation by the Holley Central School District.

Further details and video footage obtained will not be released to protect the identity of the children involved, Nenni said.

The three adults charged were arraigned in the Murray Town Court and released in their own recognizance. Krueger and Brege are to return to court on May 17. Dambra is to return to court on June 14.

Return to top

Albion man now facing drug charges while out of jail awaiting sentencing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2017 at 4:57 pm

Andrew Coley

ALBION – An Albion man who will be sentenced in Orleans County Court on June 19 for endangering the welfare of a child is now facing felony drug charges.

Andrew Coley, 19, of 160 Platt St. was charged on Thursday with three counts each of third-degree criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. He is accused of being part of the sale and distribution of crack cocaine in Orleans County.

Police did a search warrant on Coley in Holley and also searched an apartment in Medina at 11105 Telegraph Rd., Room 7.

The Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task was assisted by the Holley and Medina police departments in conducted the search warrants.

Coley was arraigned in Ridgeway Town Court by Town Justice Joseph Kujawa, who remanded Coley to the county jail on $100,000 cash bail. Coley is to appear in Ridgeway Town Court on May 9 at 9 a.m.

The Task Force said further arrests and charges are pending.

Coley and a 17-year-old girl were arrested at a motel on Oct. 6 after being found with cocaine and a 15-year-old runaway.

The drug charges were dropped against the two defendants because a search warrant wasn’t properly executed in the case and that evidence couldn’t be used.

Coley and the 17-year-old pleaded guilty on April 3 to endangering the welfare of a child for exposing the 15-year-old to drugs and alcohol. Coley and the 17-year-old admitted in court to having alcohol and cocaine in the motel room.

They face a maximum of a year in jail when they are sentenced June 19 for endangering the welfare of a child.

Return to top

2 plead guilty and could be sentenced to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 May 2017 at 3:16 pm

ALBION – Two people pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court on Monday and could be sentenced to state prison.

Harold D. Hill Jr., 38, of Lockport admitted he had cocaine on July 6, 2016 when he was arrested at Salt Works Road in Medina.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said Hill had the cocaine, which weighed 0.65 ounces, concealed in his mouth.

Hill pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, which normally carries a maximum of 8 years in state prison.

As part of a plea deal, Hill will face no more than 5 years in state prison and up to two additional years of post-release supervision.

He will be sentenced on June 26.

A Holley resident also pleaded guilty to violating his probation. Kevin A. Truesdell, 39, of Hurd Road has multiple prior convictions for driving while intoxicated.

He was arrested for DWI on Dec. 15. He also was driving without a license and was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.

As part of a plea deal, he will face a maximum sentence of 1 to 3 years in state prison when he is sentenced on June 5.

Return to top

3 arrested for allegedly selling crack cocaine in Albion

Staff Reports Posted 2 May 2017 at 10:17 am

Provided photo: Police seized 113 bags of crack cocaine, cash and other drug paraphernalia in Albion on Monday.

ALBION – Three people have been arrested after an investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine from Rochester to the village of Albion, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force is reporting.

Shanya Beasly

The Task Force worked with the Albion Police Department and the Orleans County Multi-Agency SWAT Team is executing a search warrant at 201 West Ave. in Albion on Monday.

Police seized 113 individual bags of crack cocaine packaged for sale, cash, scales, packaging and other drug paraphernalia. An aggressive pitbull also was encountered during the execution of the search warrant and was subsequently removed by animal control officers, the Task Force said.

The following were arrested:

Virginia Rivera

• Shanya Beasley, 38, of 73 Kingston St., Rochester. She was charged with 4 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (Class B felonies) and 6 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (Class B felonies).

Beasley was arraigned in Clarendon Town Court by the Town Justice Thomas DiFante. She was committed to the Orleans County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.

• Virginia A. Rivera, 36, of 201 West Ave., Albion. She was charged with 1 count of criminal sale and 3 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (Class B felonies).

Rivera was arraigned by DiFante, who set bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

Lamar Nelson

• Lamar L. Nelson, 28, of 1064 Monroe Ave., Rochester. He was charged with 2 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (Class B felonies).

Nelson was arraigned by DiFante, who did not set bail due to Nelson’s previous criminal history. He was committed to the Orleans County Jail. Nelson is currently on federal probation and a detainer was filed with the Orleans County Jail.

All three are to appear in Albion Town Court on May 5 at 9 a.m.

The Task Force said the investigation is ongoing and further charges and arrests are pending.

Return to top

Texas man gets 7 years for bringing kilo of cocaine to Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 May 2017 at 9:46 am

ALBION – A Houston, Texas man was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Orleans County Court Judge James Punch on Monday.

Daniel Guzman

Daniel Guzman and a co-defendant were arrested on June 17 for trying to smuggle a kilo of cocaine from Texas into Orleans County. It was the largest cocaine seizure in Orleans County history.

As part of a plea deal, Guzman, 29, faced up to 7 years in state prison. Punch gave Guzman the maximum.

A co-defendant, Luis Alberto Sanchez-Garza, 31, of Mexico has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing on June 5.

Both men pleaded guilty to criminal possession of controlled substance in the second degree.

Law enforcement searched a vehicle on June 17 after getting a warrant. Police heard from an informant that Guzman and Sanchez-Garza were allegedly bringing the cocaine to Orleans County.

Police, including the Albion K9, searched the vehicle that was stopped on East Avenue in Albion and found 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine hidden in the engine compartment.

District Attorney Joe Cardone praised law enforcement for intercepting the cocaine, which was targeted for sale in Orleans County. Getting the drug off the street spared the community some misery from the drug, Cardone said.

In two other sentencings:

• A Gaines resident who was facing a felony weapons charge was spared going to jail.

John P. Klotzbach, 66, of Ridge Road pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, which could have included a year in the county jail.

Punch said Klotzbach doesn’t have a serious criminal history. The judge gave Klotzbach a one-year conditional discharge where he is not allowed to have firearms or ammunition. Klotzbach must also pay a $200 court curcharge and $50 DNA fee.

In a previous court appearance, Klotzbach admitted he had a shortened shotgun on May 20, 2016. The judge asked Klotzbach is the gun was operable, and Klotzbach said it was.

Klotzbach was charged about a year ago following an investigation by the Task Force, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

Klotzbach allegedly attempted to purchase a shotgun and refused to complete the required ATF form 4473 for the federal background check and was subsequently denied the purchase.

Several days later, a female acquaintance allegedly went into the gun store and wanted to purchase the same gun that Klotzbach attempted to buy. The gun store owner became suspicious when he noticed the woman was riding in the same vehicle as Klotzbach, as well as attempting to purchase the same gun that Klotzbach wanted. The store owner then contacted law enforcement authorities.

• A Kent resident was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.

Daniel Flanagan, 31, of Bills Road was given the maximum sentence as part of a plea deal. He admitted he had been drinking alcohol when he was stopped Dec. 7, 2013 on East State Street in Albion. Flanagan registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.23 percent and also was driving without a license.

Return to top