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3 sentenced to state prison for crimes in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 June 2019 at 11:27 am

ALBION – Three people were sentenced to state prison in Orleans County Court this morning by Judge Sanford Church.

• A Rochester man was sentenced to 3 years in state prison after admitting to selling fentanyl in Orleans County in June 2018.

Oscar Rivera, 24, is a first-time drug offender. He pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Rivera also needs to pay $100 in restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, which was the buy money for the fentanyl.

“I made mistakes in my life and I’m sorry,” Rivera said in court today.

• Jeremy Hodge, 33, of Albion was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison for felony driving while intoxicated. Hodge 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 DWI in 2012 in Clarendon and also has a pending DWI in Pennsylvania from December 2018.

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

His attorney asked that he not go to prison because he is a dedicated employee for a painting company and has made strides with alcohol treatment.

Church, however, said he needed to protect the community from Hodge, especially given the high BAC level.

Hodge faces about $2,000 in fines and surcharges and will need to use an inter-lock ignition device on any vehicle he drives for the first year when he is released from prison.

• Devon Cappucci, 25, a former inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility, was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in prison after pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate.

Cappucci spit blood at a corrections officer in September 2018.

His attorney asked for leniency because Cappucci lost both of his parents at a young age. He is trying to address some mental health issues, his attorney said.

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Medina man sentenced to state prison for grand larceny

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2019 at 11:38 am

ALBION – A Medina man was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison on Thursday by Orleans County Court Judge Sanford Church.

Stacy Moss, 29, previously pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny. That charge could have been reduced if he had successfully completed a court diversion program, but Moss didn’t meet the conditions for that program.

He appeared in court on April 18 after being wanted on a warrant since November.

Moss was removed from the diversion program because he hasn’t been going to a drug treatment program or showing up for court appearances.

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Rochester man pleads guilty in County Court to selling fentanyl, heroin in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 June 2019 at 5:50 pm

ALBION – A Rochester man admitted in Orleans County Court today to selling fentanyl and heroin to an informant with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

Jonathan Velasquez, 25, on Tuesday pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute over 40 grams of fentanyl. That charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5 million fine. Velasquez is accused of conspiring with others to distribute quantities of heroin throughout Western New York, including Orleans County.

Velasquez pleaded guilty in Orleans County today to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and will receive a maximum sentence of 2 years in state prison. That sentence will be served concurrently or with the federal sentence.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said in court an informant made a call from Orleans County to Velasquez about buying fentanyl and heroin. The informant went to Monroe County to get the drugs, which were analyzed by a lab in Niagara County and found to be heroin and fentanyl.

In other cases in County Court this afternoon:

• A Medina man pleaded guilty to course of sexual contact against a child in the second degree.

Jeffrey Woodroe, 39, admitted to sexual contact with a girl under age 12 on a least two occasions between April 2008 and April 2012.

He will face up to six months in the county jail and 10 years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced on Aug. 15. Judge Sanford Church also issued an order of protection for the victim.

Kayla Rowling, 28, of Medina admitted she had cocaine on Nov. 28, 2018. She pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance.

As part of a plea agreement she will avoid state prison, but could be sentenced to up to a year in the county jail when she is sentenced on Aug. 15. She is a first-time felony offender.

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Rochester man pleads guilty to fentanyl conspiracy in WNY, including Orleans County

Staff Reports Posted 20 June 2019 at 11:24 am

ROCHESTER – A Rochester man who faces charges for allegedly selling heroin and fentanyl in Orleans County a year ago in June pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday.

Jonathan Velasquez, 25, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer to conspiracy to distribute over 40 grams of fentanyl. The charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5 million fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassie Kocher, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant conspired with others to distribute quantities of heroin throughout the Western District of New York.

Velasquez is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 5 before Judge Larimer.

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Bronx man sentenced to prison for sending Suboxone to Albion Correctional

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2019 at 3:15 pm

ALBION – A Bronx resident was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for attempted promoting prison contraband, a class D felony.

Edwin King, 59, admitted to sending Suboxone to an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, a women’s prison. Suboxone can reduce opiate addiction and withdrawal.

King has said in court he has been getting treatment for colon and prostrate cancer, with chemotherapy every three weeks on New York City. But that treatment ended a while ago.

County Court Judge Sanford Church postponed sentencing last month because he wanted to see a medical report for King’s treatment before making a decision on the sentence.

In other cases in County Court on June 6:

• A former resident Albion resident who now lives in Monroe County was congratulated for completing a diversion program, where he stayed away from drugs for more than a year and completed a treatment program.

Tyriek Johnson, 31, had a felony drug charge of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance reduced to an E felony of attempted CPCS in the fifth degree.

He will be on probation and must pay a $1,000 fine.

• A Medina woman admitted to violating probation and could face up to nine months in jail when she is sentenced on July 18.

Kayla A. Spry, 24, had contact with someone she was to avoid, and also drank alcohol and used drugs, the District Attorney’s Office said. She also didn’t complete substance abuse program.

• An 18-year-old girl from Albion 18 pleaded guilty to grand larceny for taking a credit card and buying about $3,500 worth of items. The girl was granted youthful offender status so her record will be sealed and her name shouldn’t be published.

She needs to pay restitution and will be on probation for five years. She will serve four weekends in the county jail, and also needs to have “no offensive contact” with the victim.

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Albion man pleads guilty to sex abuse, while maintaining innocence

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2019 at 2:51 pm

ALBION – An Albion man pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court to first-degree sexual abuse for crimes involving children.

However, Richard Hering Jr., 46, maintained his innocence. On June 6, he entered an Alford plea, where he pleads guilty while insisting on his innocence.

He will face up to two years in state prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 22, plus three years of post-release supervision.

Hering faced charges of rape and incest against a child and sexual abuse against three children.

Hering and his girlfriend Renee Koch, 55, were charged on Feb. 27, 2018 with forcible touching, sex abuse and act in manner injurious to a child less than 17 years of age. There were allegedly three victims.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2008 and 2010 in the Village of Albion.

The Alford plea means Hering won’t go to trial where he could have been found guilty and faced a much longer prison term. It also spares the children from testifying in a trial.

Koch also entered an Alford plea on June 6 and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. She could face up to a year in the county jail when she is sentenced on Aug. 22.

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4 sentenced in County Court today all receive some incarceration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 June 2019 at 12:04 pm

ALBION – Four people were sentenced in Orleans County Court today and all received some incarceration.

Luis Ramos-Perez, 30, received the longest sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison. He 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 was recently released from prison when he was arrested again for another DWI.

Ramos-Perez apologized in court. He spoke through an interpreter.

“I just want to say I feel bad for I did,” he said. “I do accept that I have problems with alcohol.”

Ramos-Perez has family in the area, including children.

County Court Judge Sanford Church said Ramos-Perez has proven to be a danger to other people on the road. The judge also revoked the driver’s license for Ramos-Perez for a year.

Michael J. Miller II, 44, of Medina was sentenced to six months in the county jail and five years of probation.

He was charged on Sept. 22 on Townline Road in Yates and registered a .24 BAC, which is three times the legal limit. This is his third DWI offense and all have been with a BAC over .20 percent, the judge said.

“I apologize for the decisions I made that night,” Miller said.

His attorney, Neil Gunther, asked for only probation or weekends in jail. But Judge Church said Miller has shown he is a danger to the community by driving when he is highly impaired.

• A Batavia man was sentenced to two months of weekends in jail plus five years of probation.

Dominic Bennett, 27, previously pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. 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.

Spencer Freeman, 20, of Albion also was sentenced to two months of weekends in jail and five years of probation.

He previously 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.

The weekends in jail will allow him to continue his full-time job.

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3 plead guilty to drug crimes in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 May 2019 at 3:16 pm

ALBION – Three people pleaded guilty to drug crimes in Orleans County today during County Court, while another man admitted to driving while intoxicated and without a license.

Dexter Turner, a former Albion and Medina resident, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. He faces a maximum of 3 ½ years in prison and post-release supervision when he is sentenced on Aug. 1.

Turner was living in Brockport when he was charged on March 25 on eight counts of drug sale and possession charges for allegedly selling crack cocaine in Albion and Medina.

Turner admitted in court today to having cocaine on Dec. 4 and trying to sell it in Orleans County. He is a second felony offender.

He could also face a fine of up to $15,000.

He is in the Orleans County Jail on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

• A Rochester man admitted he was trying to sell fentanyl in Orleans County. Dante L. Thomas, 30, was charged in December with 14 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

He pleaded guilty today to attempted criminal sale of controlled substance in the third degree and faces a maximum of 3 years in state prison and post-release supervision when he is sentenced on Aug. 1.

This is Thomas’s first criminal conviction. The judge agreed to reduce his bail by half to$25,000 cash and $50,000 bond.

Dakota Hunt, 24, of Medina pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. She admitted she had cocaine on Oct. 31 with the intent to sell it.

This is her first conviction. As part of a plea deal today, her sentence will be capped at six months in jail and probation for up to five years. She will be sentenced on Aug. 1. She remains free after posting $5,000 bail.

• In another case, a Kendall man pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Gilberto Gonzales, 49, was stopped in Albion on April 14. He declined to have his attorney, Public Defender Joanne Best, argue motions and look at body cam evidence from the arresting officer.

“Your honor obviously I was guilty because I was intoxicated and I was driving without a license,” Gonzales told Judge Sanford Church today.

As part of the plea, he faces a maximum of 1 to 2 years in state prison. That is a break from what could have been a 4-year maximum. Gonzalez was convicted of driving under the influence in Oklahoma on Dec. 11, 2018, District Attorney Joe Cardone said.

Gonzalez will be sentenced on Aug. 1. He is in the county jail on $5,000 bail.

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2 at Albion Correctional Facility get more time for contraband, harassment

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 May 2019 at 2:40 pm

ALBION – Two people who admitted to crimes while they were inmates at Albion Correctional Facility will be spending more time in prison after they were sentenced today in Orleans County Court.

Robin Miller, an inmate at the women’s prison, was sentenced to an additional 1 ½ to 3 years in prison for aggravated harassment of an employee.

She admitted to throwing urine at a corrections officer. She was scheduled to be released next year.

Najah Fields, a former inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years for promoting prison contraband. She allegedly had a Syracuse woman bring Suboxone and pills to the prison.

Fields was released from Albion Correctional last Dec. 28. Her attorney, David Wade, said Fields has struggled with drug addiction “her entire life.”

Fields and the Syracuse woman both showed “poor judgement,” trying to bring the Suboxone and pills into the facility, Wade said.

Sanford Church, the County Court judge, said shock incarceration may be an option for Fields. That will be up to the state corrections system.

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Man arraigned in County Court for first-degree robbery in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 May 2019 at 11:47 am

ALBION – A Rochester man who used to live in Medina was arraigned in Orleans County Court today for first-degree robbery and grand larceny in the fourth degree, which are felonies.

Jason Wills, 33, also faces misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and menacing in the second degree.

He was picked up on a warrant on May 1 in Albion by local law enforcement. Wills had been wanted since failing to show up at a court appearance on Nov. 20, 2017, when he was indicted for robbery in the first degree.

Wills was arrested by the Medina Police Department on June 4, 2017 for an alleged knifepoint robbery where cash was stolen.

District Attorney Joe Cardone requested bail of at least $100,000 after Wills failed to appear in November 2017. Judge Charles Zambito agreed and set bail at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.

Cardone also offered a plea deal for Wills where he would plead guilty to attempted robbery in the first degree and face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Wills can consider that offer in the next month before he appears in County Court again for a conference with his attorney, Public Defender Joanne Best.

In other cases in County Court today:

• A former inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison for assaulting a corrections officer in 2017.

Raheem Sumler pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault.

• An Albion woman was sentenced to six months in the county jail and five years of probation for a felony drug charge.

Virginia Rivera, 38, had nearly completed a judicial diversion program until a recent drug relapse. If she had been successful, she would have instead been sentenced to a misdemeanor and avoided jail.

“I just want to apologize,” she told the judge. “I made a huge mistake. I really regret it.”

Judge Zambito declined to send Rivera to state prison. He wanted the local supervision through probation.

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