county court

Medina man sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison on drug and gun charges

Staff Reports Posted 18 November 2020 at 6:36 pm

BUFFALO – A Medina man was sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison today by a federal judge.

Anthony Allee, 29, was convicted of possessing with intent to distribute, and distributing, cocaine, and unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of drug trafficking. Allee was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John J. Sinatra, Jr.

The office of U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. said that Allee and his wife, Tashira, used their Ridge Road residence in Medina to store, sell, and use marijuana, hydrocodone, and cocaine between April 2019 and July 22, 2019.

Anthony Allee also possessed various firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking in order to protect himself, his drugs, and his drug proceeds, said Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin G. Bish and Jeremiah E. Lenihan.

On July 22, 2019, a state search warrant was executed at the residence. Investigators seized multiple firearms, ammunition, numerous articles of stolen property, approximately 73 grams of marijuana, 247 hydrocodone pills, cocaine residue located on a working digital scale with a razor blade, two additional digital scales, a vacuum sealer with bags, and knotted baggies.

Tashira Allee was previously convicted and sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours of community service.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office; Homeland Security Investigations; the Niagara County Drug Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the New York State Police; and the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office.

2 charged with drug distribution and sales from NYC to Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 November 2020 at 2:59 pm

ALBION – Two people were charged on Sunday after an investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine from New York City to the Village of Albion, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force reported today.

Hector M. Mendez

The Task Force, the Albion Police Department and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 11 West Academy St. in Albion. Albion police K9 handler Nathaniel Staines and his K9 partner Badger also assisted in the search warrant execution.

Police seized over 100 individual bags of crack cocaine packaged for sale with a total weight of approximately two ounces, as well as cash, scales, packaging and other drug paraphernalia.

The following were arrested on felony drug charges:

Hector M. Mendez, 39, of the Bronx was charged with 2 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, which are Class B felonies.

Michelle L. Preston

Michelle L. Preston, 54, of 11 West Academy St. Apt. A, Albion was charged with 2 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

The Task Force said further arrests and charges are pending in this investigation.

Preston, due to her previous criminal history, was arraigned in Orleans County Court by County Court Judge Sanford Church and released with her returning back to the Albion Town Court on Nov. 24 at 9 a.m.

Mendez was issued and appearance ticket due to the New York State bail reform and is to appear back to the Albion Town Court on Nov. 18 at 9 a.m., the Task Force said today in anews release.

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2 arraigned in County Court for 2nd-degree assault

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 November 2020 at 11:05 am

ALBION – Two Orleans County residents were arraigned this morning in County Court for second-degree assault.

Lawrence Guy, 44, of Holley allegedly assaulted a tenant at the Holley Hotel on Sept. 2, causing a broken jaw and head injury.

County Court Judge Sanford Church cited Guy’s previous criminal history in setting bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

Jamal Poole, 26, of Medina also faces second-degree assault for allegedly striking his girlfriend on Aug. 11, causing a collapsed lung and chest injury.

No bail was set because he doesn’t have a prior criminal history.

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Ridgeway man arraigned in County Court for assault on girlfriend, escape at jail

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 November 2020 at 5:58 pm

ALBION – A Ridgeway man who was being transferred to the Orleans County Jail on Sept. 5 and bolted from Sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers was arraigned in County Court for escape.

Joseph J. Motzer, 27, of Ridgeway also was arraigned last Wednesday for second-degree assault and aggravated criminal contempt. He was charged on the morning of Sept. 5 after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, who was 8 months pregnant. He allegedly choked her using an electric cord.

He was taken by a Sheriff’s deputy to the Orleans County jail that morning. When he was in the process of being turned over to the jail staff, Motzer allegedly took off running with his hands cuffed behind his back.

He was taken into custody at about 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 5 after he was found hiding under a picnic table in the backyard of a residence on South Main Street near the Main Street Thrift Store.

Orleans County Court Judge Sanford Church set bail at $10,000 cash and $20,00 bond for Motzer during the arraignment last week.

In other cases:

• A Kendall man pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

Lazaro Botello, 29, was charged on May 12 for DWI on West Park Street in Albion. He admitted in court to drinking a six-pack of beer before driving. He also admitted to trying to force himself into a house and damaging the door.

He was driving without a license on may 12 after his license had been revoked due to a prior DWI.

As part of a plea agreement, Botello could face a maximum of 4 years in state prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 6.

Allan Gray, 47, of Albion was arraigned for driving while intoxicated and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.

He was charged on Aug. 16 in the Town of Kendall.

Albion CO who pled guilty to sex crimes found dead day before sentencing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 October 2020 at 8:48 am

ALBION – A former corrections officer who was to be sentenced in Orleans County Court on Wednesday was found deceased at his home the day before he was due in court.

James W. Castonguay, 30, of Amherst pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court on Aug. 6 and could have been sentenced to time in the county jail and on probation.

Castonguay worked at the Albion Correctional Facility, a women’s prison. He pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sex act against two different female inmates. He admitted in court to forcing two inmates to give him oral sex while he was working at the prison.

Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone formally dismissed the charges in court on Wednesday, which is the norm when a defendant dies before a case is concluded.

Castonguay was charged in September 2019 by the State Police with third-degree criminal sexual act, official misconduct and third-degree rape.

Castonguay also was one of several corrections officers named in a $25 million federal lawsuit that alleges cover-ups of rape and sexual assault reports at Albion Correctional, Bedford Hills, Lakeview Shock Correctional and Taconic Correctional.

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Batavia man facing attempted murder charge in Genesee arraigned on other felonies in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2020 at 11:40 am

ALBION – A Batavia man facing attempted murder charges in Genesee County was arraigned in Orleans County Court on Wednesday for several felony charges.

Jamie Dutton

Jamie Dutton, 28, has been charged with second-degree attempted murder for an Aug. 25 stabbing. Dutton allegedly stabbed a person in the chest. The victim survived after receiving immediate medical attention. Dutton also has been charged with first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Dutton also faces felony charges in Orleans, including burglary in the first degree, aggravated criminal contempt and assault in the second degree.

He allegedly went to a person’s house who had an order of protection against Dutton. He went to the house without permission. There was also an altercation outside where Dutton allegedly caused the victim to have a collapsed lung.

He is in the Orleans County Jail on $100,000 bail.

In other cases in Orleans County Court on Wednesday:

• A Corfu man pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in Orleans County Court on Wednesday.

Tony Graber, 41, admitted to having stolen parts from a 1959 Corvette and then selling them. Those parts, taken from a Corvette in Barre, are valued at $9,960.

Graber pleaded guilty to criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, which was a break from the original charge in the third degree. Instead of facing a maximum of a 2 to 4 years in state prison as a second-felony offender, he will face a maximum of 1 ½ to 3 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 13, 2021.

• A former inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility was sentenced by Judge Sanford Church to 9 months in the Orleans County Jail for bringing Suboxone into the prison.

Stacey Haley of Massena in St. Lawrence County was sentenced for promoting prison contraband. She secreted Suboxone strips while in prison on August 2018.

She has since been released from the women’s prison in Albion. She has since completed a drug treatment program.

“I apologize for my past behavior,” she told the judge during sentencing. “I really humiliated myself. I won’t do it again.”

• Two codefendants from Batavia were arraigned on two counts each of burglary in the third third degree, petty larceny and criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

David Brusie, 47, and Courtney H. Kelley, 33, were doing property maintenance work for Wells Fargo when they allegedly entered a house on Norway Road in Kendall and Ryan Road in Shelby and took copper from the houses. They entered the houses without permission, according to the district attorney’s office.

• Also in court the previous day on Tuesday, Samantha Wroblewski, 31, of Batavia was arraigned for fourth-degree criminal possession of a stolen property.

Wroblewski and a codefendant, Judd Farewell, allegedly possessed stolen copper supply lines taken from a Maple Ridge Road building. That copper was worth an estimated $1,500.

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Brockport woman pleads guilty in opioid-related death of Albion man

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2020 at 9:14 am

BROCKPORT – A Brockport woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to manslaughter in the second degree for causing the death of a 21-year-old Albion man.

Kelsey Sponaugle

Kelsey Sponaugle, 23, admitted to providing drugs to Tyler Ward at a residence in Brockport. He died on Sept. 9, 2019.

Sponaugle was indicted on February 25, 2020, after an investigation by the Monroe County Heroin Task Force and the Brockport Police Department.

“Today’s admission is the result of the commitment of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office to fight illegal opioids in our community as well as the thorough investigation conducted by the Monroe County Heroin Task Force and the Brockport Police Department,” Assistant Monroe County DA Jennifer Kennedy said on Thursday. “We hope that with today’s admission of guilt, others will think twice before using and providing illegal narcotics in our community and Tyler’s friends and family can move forward with their grief.”

Sponaugle will be sentenced at a later date in front of New York State Supreme Court Justice Judith Sinclair. The case was prosecuted by Monroe County Senior Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Kennedy of the Special Investigations Bureau.

“The pandemic that has encompassed 2020 has only made it worse for those struggling with opioid addiction,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “Holding dealers and those who are pushing opioids accountable for taking advantage of those who are struggling with substance abuse disorder is one way we can help in the fight against this epidemic. After several homicide charges over the past three years, we hope that the message has spread to dealers that we will hold them accountable for promoting these life-threatening opioids in our community.”

Ward worked as a carpet and flooring installer for Anderson Carpet & Flooring in Brockport. He was a talented artist and loved to draw. He also was a history buff and in his spare time loved listening to music, especially The Doors and Nirvana.

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Rochester man arraigned in County Court for burglary, violating order of protection

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 October 2020 at 3:58 pm

ALBION – A Rochester man was arraigned in Orleans County Court this morning on six felony charges plus two misdemeanors.

Terrance T. Rowe, 23, allegedly violated an order of protection on multiple occasions, entering a person’s house he was legally to have no contact with.

Rowe also allegedly sent this woman threatening text messages.

He was arraigned in court today on two counts of second-degree burglary (for entering the home of a person with an order of protection), four counts of criminal contempt in the first degree, and two counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

The alleged incidents occurred between February and May. Rowe has been in Orleans County Jail with bail set at $5,000 cash and $10,000 bond. Judge Sanford Church said he would continue bail at those levels.

District Attorney Joe Cardone also presented a plea offer to Rowe to plead guilt to attempted burglary in the second degree and criminal contempt in the first degree with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Also in County Court this morning:

Judd Farewell, 29, of Maple Ridge Road in Medina was arraigned on third-degree burglary, criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree.

In February, he allegedly entered a building on Maple Ridge Road without permission and stole copper supply lines worth an estimated $1,500.

Farewell is currently being held in Genesee County Jail on charges in that county.

Ebony Grahampryor, an inmate at Albion Correctional Facility, was offered a plea deal. If she pleads guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree she will face a maximum of 1 ½ to 3 years of additional time in state prison.

She allegedly had Buprenorphine at the prison. Buprenorphine is often used to prevent withdrawal symptoms from opiate drugs. She has time to consider the plea offer.

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Man sentenced in County Court to 10 years probation for third-degree rape

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 October 2020 at 12:47 pm

ALBION – A Cobleskill man, 36, was sentenced this morning to 10 years of probation and also will be a registered sex offender for having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Ronald R. Cook Jr. pleaded guilty on July 29 to one count of third-degree rape. As part of that plea, he could have faced up to six months in jail and 10 years of probation.

Cook met the girl through a 4-H rabbit program. The girl wasn’t from Orleans County but the crime occurred at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds, said District Attorney Joe Cardone.

Cook has no prior criminal history. He said he takes “100 percent responsibility” for the crime. He asked in court today that he be allowed to continue to work full-time because he is his family’s sole provider.

Cook’s daughter participated in a 4-H rabbit program. Cook said he is no longer part of the program.

Joanne Best, the public defender, also asked County Court Judge Sanford Church to not make incarceration part of the sentence so Cook can continue with his job. If Cook violates any terms of his probation, he could be sentenced to incarceration, Best said.

He will appear in County Court again on Nov. 2 for Church to determine what level Cook will be registered as a sex offender.

The judge also fined Cook $1,000 for the crime and assessed $375 in other court and sex offender surcharges.

In other sentencings this morning:

• A Medina woman had her sentencing adjourned on Oct. 28 to give more time for the court to consider the impact of the sentence with other charges in federal court.

Tashira Allee, 36, of Medina previously pleaded guilty to criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree. She could face up to a year in the county jail when she is sentenced.

Allee admitted in a previous court appearance she had a stolen trailer on July 21, 2019.

In court today she agreed to pay $1,500 of restitution.

She is a co-defendant in the case with her husband, Anthony Allee. He also is facing federal charges. He has been charged with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, marijuana, hydrocodone, and cocaine, unlawful possession of a machine gun, and unlawful possession of a stolen firearm, which carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Brook Maynard, 20, of Albion was sentenced to four months of weekends of in jail for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. She was also fined $500. She won’t be on probation.

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3 from Orleans sentenced to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2020 at 3:59 pm

ALBION – Three people from Orleans County have recently been sentenced to state prison by County Court Judge Sanford Church.

Ronald Riley, 41, of Medina received the longest sentence at four years in prison plus three years of post-release supervision.

He pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. He was on parole when he allegedly had and sold cocaine in Medina. He was charged on Oct. 1, 2019.

He was sentenced in County Court on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, David R. Tower, 41, of Lyndonville was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for felony driving while intoxicated and for violating his probation. He also will be on post-release supervision for one year.

Last week on Sept. 9, Thomas Edgtion, 35, of Albion was sentenced to 1 ½ years of state prison and one year of post-release supervision for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

He was charged last Dec. 5 for allegedly selling and distributing crack cocaine and powder cocaine in Albion.

In other cases:

Scott Foley, 52, was presented a new plea offer after charges of attempted second-degree murder were withdrawn. Foley now faces charges of reckless endangerment in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and DWI.

He has until Sept. 23 to decide if he will accept a plea deal with a cap of five years in state prison.

He allegedly fired two shots from a rifle on Jan. 2 at Roadies Pizzeria and Sports Bar on Route 98 in Carlton. One of the rounds was recovered inside the pizzeria and sports bar.

Foley was at Roadies and was asked to leave by one of the co-owners after a “disturbance,” DA Joe Cardone said in court on Feb. 20. Foley left and returned, allegedly shooting a rifle from the parking lot.

Jacob Twardowski, 20, of Albion was sentenced to four months of weekends in the county jail, plus probation. He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree for allegedly having 19 ounces of marijuana.

Kelly Morrison, 45, of Medina was sentenced to five years of probation for third-degree attempted arson for allegedly setting her house on fire on May 11, 2019 on Gwinn Street. She also must pay any “reasonable restitution.”

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2 inmates sentenced to more prison time for criminal actions against COs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 September 2020 at 10:51 am

ALBION – Two inmates at local state prisons were sentenced to more time of incarceration on Wednesday in Orleans County Court.

Angela Tuitt, 33, was an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility when she allegedly threw fecal matter at a corrections officer.

She was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in prison for aggravated harassment of an employee by inmate. She was sentenced by County Court Judge Sanford Church.

The judge also sentenced Michael T. Hawkins, a former inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility in Albion to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison.

Hawkins allegedly struck a corrections officer in the face, causing a laceration with blood. He was sentenced for attempted assault in the second degree.

In other cases in County Court:

Benith White of Albion was sentenced to 364 days in jail for violating an order of protection which is criminal contempt in the second degree.

• The judge arraigned Amanda Bieber, 32, of Batavia and Tony Graber, 41, of Corfu for criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree. In May, they allegedly possessed stolen parts from a 1959 Corvette in Barre. Those parts are valued at $9,960.

• The judge issued a warrant for Dennis Biaselli, who didn’t appear in court the past two weeks. Biaselli, 45, of Albion faces charges of felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

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Local town justice courts need to get partitions in place for judges, attorneys

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2020 at 12:07 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Public Defender Joanne Best speaks to local officials during last week’s meeting of the Orleans County Association of Municipalities, which was held at Tillman’s Village Inn.

ALBION – Orleans County Public Defender Joanne Best said the local town justice courts are in the process of reopening but many still need to have partitions in place for judges and attorneys.

The local town courts started to reopen for cases last month. Some of the court rooms are only allowing 10 people inside the courtrooms at a time. With the judge, court clerk, stenographer, district attorney, public defender and defendant, the space is already more than half full.

Best addressed local officials last week during the monthly Orleans County Association of Municipalities meeting. She told them many of the town hall buildings still need to become Covid-19 compliant for court.

That includes Plexiglass dividers in front of judges and between attorneys and their clients at the attorney-client rooms. The attorney-client rooms also need to have enough space to allow for social distancing.

Best said those protections need to be in place “or we can’t send attorneys in,” she said.

She said she has some temporary dividers in her office that the courts can use until they get their own in place.

“Whatever your feelings are about it, we are being directed to have PPE and shields (in the courts),” Best told the local officials.

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Albion CO pleads guilty to criminal sex act against 2 inmates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2020 at 3:48 pm

ALBION – A former corrections officer at the Albion Correctional Facility pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sex act against two different female inmates.

James W. Castonguay, 30, of Amherst pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court on Aug. 6 and could spend time in the county jail and on probation when he is sentenced on Oct. 28.

He admitted in court to forcing two inmates to give him oral sex while he was working at the women’s prison.

He was charged last September by the State Police with third-degree criminal sexual act, official misconduct and third-degree rape.

Castonguay also is one of several corrections officers named in a $25 million federal lawsuit that alleges cover-ups of rape and sexual assault reports at Albion Correctional, Bedford Hills, Lakeview Shock Correctional and Taconic Correctional.

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Lyndonville man sentenced on federal firearms charges

Posted 10 August 2020 at 12:56 pm

Press Release, United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., Western District of New York

BUFFALO – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Nolan Donald, 21, of Lyndonville, who was convicted of being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition, and possessing with intent to distribute, and distributing marijuana, was sentenced to serve three years home confinement by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who handled the case, stated that between February 2018 and April 18, 2018, the defendant was addicted to, or was an unlawful user of, marijuana. On April 18, 2018, Donald was arrested following the execution of a search warrant at his residence on North Lyndonville Road. Inside the residence, investigators recovered a 9mm, semi-automatic pistol, loaded with eight rounds of ammunition; a 12-gauge shotgun; 79 rounds of ammunition; a small quantity of marijuana; edible marijuana cookies; and plastic baggies.

Following his arrest, the defendant admitted that he sold marijuana for approximately two years preceding his arrest and continued to sell marijuana and other marijuana products up until the time of his arrest. Donald also stated that he had used marijuana every day for the past year and a half.

Between February 17, 2018, and April 18, 2018, the defendant posted videos and photos to the social media application “Snapchat” in which he appeared to be in possession of a pistol and large quantities of marijuana, and using what appeared to be marijuana and prescription medicine.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.

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Rochester man charged after fatal drug overdose in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 9:22 am

A Rochester man has been charged after a lengthy investigation into a fatal drug overdose in November 2019, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force is reporting today.

Kashbi C. Sanders

Kashbi C. Sanders, 28, of Charlotte Street in Rochester allegedly sold a lethal combination of heroin and fentanyl in Orleans County.

On Wednesday he was arraigned in Orleans County Court by Judge Sanford Church on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, which are Class B felonies.

Sanders was released on his own recognizance due to the new bail reform laws. He is to appear next in County Court on Aug. 12.

He is currently being held in Monroe County Jail after being charged by the Rochester Police Department on numerous felony weapons charges, including first-degree robbery and second-degree assault in April 2020, the Task Force reported today.

The investigation is the fatal drug overdose is ongoing.

Investigators with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest on Wednesday. The Rochester PD and Monroe County Heroin Task Force assisted in the investigation.

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