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Inmate gets 1 ½ to 3 more years in prison for punching corrections officer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2019 at 3:17 pm

ALBION – A former Orleans Correctional Facility inmate was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison today for attempted assault in the second degree.

Freddy Rosario, 23, has been moved to Midstate Correctional Facility in Marcy. He admitted in a previous court appearance to punching a corrections officer in the face and causing other injuries.

Rosario was in the visiting area at Orleans Correctional on Jan. 21, 2018. He said “one thing led to another” and he punched an officer in the face.

As part of a plea deal he was given a reduced sentence from would could have been a maximum of 2 to 4 years in prison if he went to trial and was convicted by a jury.

In other cases in Orleans County Court today:

Jeremy Hodge, 33, of Albion pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and could face a maximum of 1 to 3 years in state prison when he is sentenced on June 27.

He was charged in Clarendon on Jan. 1 and registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.30 percent, nearly four times the legal limit. He has a previous misdemeanor DWI in 2014.

Hodge said in court today he drank a 12-pack of beer during the day before his arrest on Jan. 1.

Stacy Moss Jr., 29, appeared in court after being wanted on a warrant since November. Moss is a diversion program where a felony charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor if he successfully completes the program.

District Attorney Joe Cardone asked that Moss be terminated from the program because he hasn’t been going to a drug treatment program or showing up for court appearances.

Moss said he was aware there was a warrant issued for him. He said he didn’t want to turn himself in because he didn’t want to miss his son’s birth in December.

Judge Sanford Church asked why Moss didn’t come in since then.

“I don’t know,” Moss responded.

The judge is holding Moss without bail until another court appearance next Thursday.

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2 are sentenced to incarceration in County Court today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 April 2019 at 5:05 pm

(CORRECTION: This article initially reported that Spencer Freeman broke into a house and stole electronics. Freeman did not break in the house and steal the items. Someone else took them. Freeman wasn’t in the house, but was found in possession of the stolen property.)

ALBION – Two people were sentenced to either state prison or the Orleans County Jail today in County Court.

Valerie Allen, 31, a former inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison for aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate. She admitted in court previously to throwing urine and toilet water at corrections officers on Oct. 13, 2016.

She could have faced up to five years in state prison, but received a lesser sentence as part of a plea agreement.

Public Defender Joanne Best said mental health issues and drug addiction have been contributing factors in Allen’s criminal history. Best asked County Court Judge Sanford Church to consider that in sentencing Allen.

In other cases in County Court today:

Miranda Rose, formerly of Orleans County, was sentenced to five months in jail and her probation was revoked for welfare fraud. Rose admitted in a previous court appearance to using drugs. She also hadn’t been paying towards restitution, but today in court the judge was notified she has paid off the restitution in full.

She was charged with welfare fraud after collecting $3,577 in welfare benefits when she was living out of the county in Baltimore.

• An Albion man pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and could face a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Luis Ramos-Perez, 30, was charged with DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle after being stopped on Dec. 14 in Albion. He registered a BAC of 0.15 percent, about double the legal limit. He has two prior charged for driving under the influence or intoxicated.

He will be sentenced on July 6.

Jason Muck, 41, of Medina pleaded guilty to violating his probation and could face up to 1 to 3 years in state prison when he is sentenced May 16. He allegedly was using drugs and not attending a treatment program through the Genesee-Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Muck was on probation for driving while intoxicated.

Spencer Freeman, 20, of Albion pleaded guilty to criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the seventh degree.

He admitted to having about $1,500 worth of stolen items on Nov. 13, including a Play Station, an Alexa, X-Box and flat-screen television.

Freeman also said he had Xanax bars, which are a controlled substance. He said he got the Xanax bars “on the street.”

As part of a plea agreement, he faces up to six months in jail and five years of probation.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said Freeman has a limited criminal history. The judge agreed to keep bail at $40,000 bond. Freeman will be sentenced on June 13.

• Two people were arraigned for misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Zachary Kujawa, 29, of Medina and his girlfriend Jennifer Luxon, 28, of Medina were charged by State Police in October for an incident that allegedly happened on Sept. 11.

Kujawa also faces charges of misdemeanor criminal obstruction of breathing for allegedly choking a 6-year-old girl. Luxon is also charged with making a false report.

A grand jury decided against felony charges for the two. Normally misdemeanors charges are handled in town court. Kujawa’s father is Ridgeway Town Justice Joseph Kujawa. Robert Zickl, a special prosecutor in the case, wants the case to stay in County Court and not in a local town court.

Kujawa and Luxon both entered not guilty pleas today.

“My client is steadfastly denying these allegations,” Lance Mark, Zachary Kujawa’s attorney, told Judge Church.

Both Kujawa and Luxon have been released on their recognizance.

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Teen sentenced to state prison for criminal sex act

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2019 at 11:25 am

ALBION – An Albion teen-ager was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison today for criminal sex act in the first degree.

The boy was 16 last year when he forced a 10-year-old girl to give him oral sex. Judge Charles Zambito said the 10-year-old girl was terrified during the ordeal.

The boy was granted youthful offender status. His record is sealed and his name shouldn’t be published in the news.

The boy has been in the Orleans County Jail for about a year. Joanne Best, the public defender, asked that the boy be released and be allowed to continue treatment and his education.

“He is very remorseful,” Best told the judge. “He wishes he made a different choice.”

But Judge Zambito said he wants the teen to spend more time incarcerated and receive help in prison.

“I want you to be supervised for as long as possible,” the judge said.

Best, the public defender, said a younger boy pressured the Albion teen into the crime. That boy is 15 and his case is being handled in Family Court.

“He wishes he stood up to the other young man,” Best said about the teen sentenced today.

She asked that the teen not go to state prison, where he will likely soon be eligible for parole.

“I don’t think there is any benefit of putting someone of his age in the state corrections system,” Best said.

The teen would like to pursue a career in the military. He apologized to the victim and her family in court today.

District Attorney Joe Cardone requested the state prison sentence due to the teen’s “extremely serious and alarming conduct.”

Judge Zambito also issued an order of protection for the victim of the crime until 2031.

In other cases today:

• A former Albion man who has spent about 2 years in state prison on rape charges was re-sentenced and his post-release supervision was reduced from 10 years to 3 years.

Charles Ledger, 30, was sentenced on Jan. 17, 2017 on rape charges against two underage girls. He maintained his innocence throughout court proceedings and entered an Alford plea, where he pleaded guilty but maintained his innocence to avoid more serious charges.

In reviewing the court transcripts in the case, the Legal Aid Bureau in Buffalo discovered that Ledger was not advised when he pleaded guilty that he would face 10 years of post-release supervision.

James Punch, who is now retired as county court judge, didn’t advise Ledger that the 10 years of post-release supervision would possibly be part of the sentence.

Rather than possibly go to another trial, District Attorney Joe Cardone agreed to dismiss the rape charges against one of the victims. Ledger also agreed to the sentence today, which remains at 3 years of state prison.

The only change is the post-release supervision is reduced by seven years. Ledger also is expected to be on the sex offender registry as a level 2 offender.

• A former Medina resident was praised for completing a diversion program, where she received treatment for drug addiction over two years.

Maria Conte, 30, had a more serious charge of grand larceny dismissed. She instead was sentenced to petit larceny, and will avoid going to jail. Judge Zambito sentenced her to three years of probation.

Conte, now a Rochester resident, thanked the court for the opportunity to be in the diversion program.

Her attorney, Public Defender Joanne Best, asked that Conte be given a conditional discharge with no probation. But Zambito declined that request.

“You’ve done a very good job,” Judge Zambito told Conte. “Substance abuse is a difficult problem to overcome. You didn’t do it by yourself. You had some help. We want to assure you have some help to keep you going.”

Medina man sentenced to 3 years in prison on drug charge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2019 at 8:47 pm

ALBION – A Medina man was sentenced to 3 years in state prison today by Orleans County Court Judge Sanford Church.

Collen Poole pleaded guilty on Nov. 29 to a felony drug charge just before he was to go on trial, and could have faced a longer sentence if found guilty.

Poole, represented by attorney Robert Fogg of Buffalo, has tried to withdraw his plea, saying he thought the plea also included a separate assault charge. Poole also said he only had 2 grams of cocaine, which he said was a smaller amount than the charge of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Judge Church adjourned Poole’s sentencing a week. It was originally set for last Thursday. The judge said he reviewed the transcript of the plea and the assault charge was never mentioned. He said Poole made “a knowing and voluntary plea,” and was in a sound mind on Nov. 29. Judge Church decided against granting Poole’s motion to withdraw the plea, and sentenced him to 3 years in prison, the longest sentence possible as part of the plea deal.

Poole was on parole when police and state parole officers searched his residence on March 1, 2018. They found cocaine, marijuana and pills identified as Hydrocodone and Ecstasy.

Poole’s attorney said Poole went nearly a decade in between the felonies. He said Poole’s actions were driven by a drug addiction. The attorney asked the judge for a lesser sentence that would also include drug treatment.

Judge Church urged Poole to take advantage of any drug treatment programs offered in prison.

In other cases,

• A former Albion resident was sentenced to a year in jail for violating her probation. Amber L. Heveron, 30, now of Medina, was on probation for grand larceny after allegedly stealing heavy-duty batteries from tractors and trucks throughout Genesee County in 2016.

• A Batavia man pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree.

Dominic Bennett, 27, will face a maximum of six months in jail and five years in probation as part of a plea deal.

He was in a one-car accident on Oct. 27 on Route 31 in Albion, and was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He has recovered from his injuries.

He will be sentenced on June 13.

Michael J. Miller II, 44, of Medina pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and faces a maximum of six months in jail and five years of probation when he is sentenced on may 30.

He was charged on Sept. 22 on Townline Road in Yates and registered a .24 BAC, which is three times the legal limit.

2 from Rochester arraigned for allegedly selling fentanyl, cocaine in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2019 at 2:58 pm

ALBION – Two Rochester men were arraigned in Orleans Court today for allegedly selling heroin and fentanyl in Orleans County.

Oscar Rivera, 23, and Jonathan Velaquez, 25, both are charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. They allegedly sold heroin and fentanyl in June.

Rivera is in Orleans County Jail on $20,000 bail. Velaquez, who faces a possible federal charge for illegal possession of a weapon, is in Livingston County Jail on $50,000 bail.

In another case in County Court today, a Michigan man was arraigned after he was arrested in November for allegedly transporting over 100 grams of marijuana to Orleans County.

William Q. Nowak, 41, also allegedly had a large quantity of concentrated cannabis in the form of edible chocolate and edible candies made with concentrated cannabis all within his vehicle.

He was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree.

Nowak told the court he has recently moved to Ohio. He is free after posting a $50,000 bond in the Shelby Town Court.

All three defendants entered not guilty pleas today.

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3 admit crimes or probation violations and will likely be sentenced to jail

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 March 2019 at 9:19 am

ALBION – Three people either pleaded guilty or admitted to probation violations In Orleans County Court on Thursday. They will soon likely be sentenced to jail.

William Shelhorse Jr., 53, of Albion pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Shelhorse was charged on Nov. 7 after being stopped on East Avenue in Albion.

He admitted in County Court on Thursday to drinking a six-pack of beer before driving that day. He registered a BAC of 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit. He also was driving without a license. His license was revoked in 1998.

He could face up to six months in jail and five years probation when he is sentenced on May 16.

Miranda Rose, formerly of Orleans County, admitted to using drugs and not paying enough of the restitution she owes. She pleaded guilty last month to fifth-degree welfare fraud and was sentenced to two years probation in May. She admitted to collecting $3,577 in welfare benefits when she was living out of the county in Baltimore.

She will be sentenced on April 11 for the probation violations and could spend up to six months in jail.

Jimmie Priestley of Holley admitted to probation violations, including drug use, missing probation appointments and withdrawing from a drug treatment program.

Priestley has been on probation for falsifying business records. He faces up to nine months in jail when he is sentence don May. Judge Sanford Church sent bail for Priestley at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

In another case, a Medina man was to be sentenced on a felony drug charge. Collen Poole faces up to 3 years in state prison for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree.

However, he wants to withdraw a guilty plea from Nov. 29. He entered that guilty plea just before he was to go to trial on Dec. 3.

He was charged on March 1, 2018 after police and state parole officers found cocaine, marijuana and pills identified as Hydrocodone and Ecstasy, following a search of his residence.

Judge Church adjourned the sentencing until next Thursday.

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Queens man admits stealing nearly $8k in merchandise from Albion Walmart

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2019 at 11:21 am

ALBION – A man from Queens admitted in Orleans County Court today to taking $7,778 in merchandise from the Albion Walmart on Oct. 4, 2017.

Ralph Saintilus, 45, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a stolen property in the third degree. He faces a minimum of a year in state prison and maximum of 3 years when he is sentenced in May 23.

In another case in county court today, a Churchville woman was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison, including six months of shock treatment which will include drug addiction treatment.

Vanessa Trouerbach, 27, already has been in the county jail for about a year. She pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary for entering a garage on Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road on June 21, 2017. She and a co-defendant took tools. She will pay $1,000 in restitution at $50 a month, beginning two months after she is released from prison.

Trouerbach was in a diversion program but didn’t complete the program successfully.

Judge Charles Zambito said he wanted his sentence to include help for Trouerbach and her drug addiction.

Trouerbach apologized in court to the family that was victimized in the crime. She said she is committed to being a better person and would like to be a nurse.

“I’ve learned how to cope with life’s challenges,” she told the judge at sentencing.

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2 recently incarcerated for DWI have new drunk driving charges

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2019 at 2:05 pm

ALBION – Two people who recently completed incarceration for driving while intoxicated felonies were arrested again on new charges of DWI.

Christopher Aldrich, 49, of Albion was recently arrested for DWI. He was to appear in Orleans County Court on Thursday for an arraignment but didn’t show up. Judge Sanford Church issued a warrant for Aldrich’s arrest.

In February 2017, Aldrich was sentenced to a year in the county jail for getting his second DWI since 2012.

Another Albion man was arraigned by Judge Church on Thursday for felony DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. Luis Ramos-Perez, 30, was sentenced in August 2017 to 1 to 3 years in state prison for violating his probation with a DWI.

Ramos-Perez was charged with DWI and AUO after being stopped on Dec. 14 in Albion. He registered a BAC of 0.15 percent, about double the legal limit. He has been remanded to the county jail on $10,000 bail.

In another case in County Court on Thursday, a Depew woman was sentenced to three years on probation for petit larceny.

Jenna Zagara, formerly of Lockport, in a previous court appearance admitted to using someone else’s credit card without approval to pay bills. She allegedly racked up $1,905 in unauthorized spending. She has already paid restitution.

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2 are sentenced in County Court, others plead guilty

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 February 2019 at 3:44 pm

ALBION – Two people were sentenced in Orleans County Court, including an inmate who had suboxone mailed to her with the intention she would sell it to other inmates at Albion Correctional Facility.

Maijia Scott, an inmate at the women’s prison, has been in prison for 19 years for second-degree murder. She is due to be released in May, but will now have to serve an addition 1 ½ to 3 years for attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree.

Scott acknowledged in court she knew having the suboxone was against prison rules.

“It’s dangerous,” said Sanford Church, the County Court judge. “It’s creates all sorts of problems for the facility.”

The judge also sentenced a Lyndonville to six months in jail and five years of probation for felony driving while intoxicated. Kenneth Lonnen, 44, faced a maximum of 1 to 3 years in state prison.

Church gave Lonnen a break in the sentence, but told him if he has another DWI he will be going to state prison.

Lonnen was arrested on Aug. 2 in Yates and registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.24 percent, which is three times the legal limit.

Lonnen has a previous DWI conviction within five years – Feb. 6, 2014.

Lonnen said he hasn’t had a drink since his arrest.

“I just apologize,” he said. “I relapsed. I will use this opportunity to better myself.”

Lonnen also needs to pay $570 in various court surcharges and fees.

In other cases in court today:

Andrew Klaver, 18, of Clarendon pleaded guilty to attempted menacing a police officer and faces a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and 5 years on probation.

On Sept. 27, deputies and a sergeant had Klaver’s sister and mother in handcuffs at their home on Bennetts Corners Road after a family dispute.

Klaver ran into the house and came out with a loaded rifle and allegedly pointed it at the sergeant. He was told by law enforcement to drop the gun. Klaver said he paused for about a second before setting down the rifle. He allegedly refused to comply with further orders and was taken into custody following deployment of a Taser.

He will be sentenced on April 11 and could be granted youthful offender statue, which would seal the crime from his record.

Freddy Rosario, 23, a former inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility in Albion, pleaded guilty to attempted assault in the second degree. The charge normally has a maximum of 2 to 4 years in prison. As part of a plea deal, Rosario will face a maximum of 1 ½ to 3 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 18.

He said he was in the visiting area at the prison on Jan. 21, 2018 and “one thing led to another” and he punched an officer in the face and caused other injuries.

“You know he was doing his job, right?” Judge Church asked Rosario about the correction officer.

“Yes,” Rosario said.

Valerie Allen, 31, a former inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate. She admitted to throwing urine and toilet water at corrections officers on Oct. 13, 2016.

She faces up to 1 ½ to 3 years of additional time in prison when she is sentenced on April 11.

• The judge assessed an Albion man as a level 3 sex offender during a hearing. Robert Tetrault, 37, pleaded guilty on Oct. 15 to two counts of sexual misconduct, which involved children. He is serving a year of weekends in jail.

Tetrault entered an Alford plea, which is a guilty plea without admitting to the criminal act. He allegedly had sexual intercourse and committed another sex act against a child. Tetrault has proclaimed his innocence in Orleans County Court.

His attorney, public defender Joanne Best, asked Church to assess Tetrault as a level 2 offender, given he has insisted he was innocent and entered the Alford plea.

If he is a level 2 offender, he would be on the sex offender registry for 30 years. Level 3 offenders are on the registry for their lifetimes.

Judge Church said the point system for determining the risk puts Tetrault as a level 3, given his extensive criminal history, use of alcohol, numbers of victims and alleged continuing conduct with the victims, who Church said were under age 10.

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Albion man sentenced to 4 years in prison for sex with girl, 12

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 February 2019 at 5:15 pm

ALBION – An Albion man who pleaded guilty to second-degree rape was sentenced today to 4 years in state prison.

Christopher Pressley, 35, admitted to having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl last December. Pressley was 34 at the time.

He is a second felony offender with a previous assault conviction. He could have faced a maximum of 3 to 7 years in state prison. As part of the plea agreement, he faced a maximum of 4 years in prison, as well as 10 years of post-release supervision.

Judge Sanford Church gave Pressley the maximum sentence allowed through the plea agreement.

He also will be a registered sex offender.

In other cases in County Court:

• An Albion man who violated an order of protection against an ex-girlfriend when he broke into her residence, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt in the first degree and could be sentenced to 1 ½ to 4 years in state prison on April 4.

Brian Beach, 47, was to stay away from the woman. He admitted in court he was aware of the order of protection.

Edwin King, 58, of the Bronx pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband, a class D felony.

He admitted to sending suboxone to an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, a women’s prison.

King, as a first-time felony offender, faces up to 1 to 3 years in prison, but could also get a lesser a sentence.

Jeremy Hodge, 33, of Albion was arraigned for aggravated driving while intoxicated and two counts of DWI after he was arrested in Clarendon on Jan. 1 and allegedly registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.30 percent, nearly four times the legal limit.

Marina Zeppetella, 18, of Albion was arraigned for third- and fourth-degree grand larceny for allegedly taking a credit card and buying about $3,500 worth of items.

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