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2 accused of selling lethal fentanyl appear in County Court

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 September 2018 at 4:41 pm

ALBION — Two men from Rochester who are accused of selling lethal fentanyl in Orleans County appeared in County Court on Thursday on charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, which carries a minimum sentence of five years in state prison and as much as 25 years.

Giovanni M. Serrano, 19, and Charles Serrano, 21, are allegedly part of a four-person drug ring that was arrested in May. The four allegedly sold an extremely lethal fentanyl that resulted many overdoses in Orleans County.

Nevin Raul Martinez, 18, and a 15-year-old also were charged in the multi-agency investigation that included the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Rochester Police Department Tactical Unit, ICE/Homeland Security investigations and the Albion Police Department.

Law enforcement searched three houses in Rochester and seized 35 grams of fentanyl, six grams of heroin, marijuana, and more than $7,000 in cash, along with scales, packaging and other drug paraphernalia.

The two Serranos both pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday in an appearance before Judge Sanford Church. The two defendants are each in the county jail on $100,000 cash bail and $200,000 bond.

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Judge sets start of trial for man accused of predatory sexual assault against child

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2018 at 11:23 am

ALBION – An Albion man continued to proclaim his innocence in Orleans County Court on Thursday, and rejected a plea offer.

Robert Tetrault, 37, faces charges of predatory sexual assault against a child after he allegedly had sexual intercourse and committed another sex act against a child. He has maintained his innocence since he was indicted on May 3.

Tetrault is accused of repeatedly abused a child, age 9, from January to July 2012. He has been in the county jail since he was charged. Bail is set at $50,000 cash and $250,000 bond. The charges carry a maximum of 25 years in prison.

After Tetrault refused a plea on Thursday, County Court Judge Sanford Church set Oct. 29 for the start of a trial in the case.

Tetrault has a lengthy criminal history and has served four state prison terms, most recently when he was convicted on charges of attempted second-degree assault and third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in state prison in October 2013 after fighting someone with a knife on May 23, 2013. Tetrault caused a severe laceration across another’s person hand who tried to intervene in the fight. He was released from prison in May 2017.

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2 plead guilty in court and could face time in jail

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 August 2018 at 4:43 pm

ALBION — Two people pleaded guilty to felony crimes today in Orleans County Court and could be sentenced to jail

Ridge A. Forrest, 27, of Harford in Cortland County admitted to trying to bring Suboxone into the Albion Correctional Facility in March 5.

He pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the fifth degree, a charge that carries a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

However, as part of a plea deal, Forrest will face no more than six months in jail and up to 5 years on probation.

He also has to pay $375 for a court surcharge, crime victims fee and DNA fee.

He will be sentenced on Dec. 6.

A Medina woman admitted to having cocaine in a friend’s dresser on March 1. Rebekah Champlin pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. That charge carries a maximum of 1 to 2 ½ years in state prison. As part of a plea deal, she will face no more than six months in jail and up to 5 years on probation.

Champlin and Collen Poole are co-defendants in the case. He appeared with her in court today. Champlin told Judge Sanford Church that Poole didn’t know she had put the cocaine in the dresser. It was discovered by law enforcement during a search.

Poole is represented by Public Defender Joanne Best. She told the judge she would file the paperwork to have felony charges dismissed against Poole, who rejected a plea offer to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, with a cap of five years in state prison.

Champlin will be sentenced on Nov. 26.

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Albion man with long criminal history arraigned in County Court on latest felony charges

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 August 2018 at 4:23 pm

ALBION – An Albion man with a long criminal history was arraigned in Orleans County Court this morning on several felony charges.

Stephen Miles

Stephen W. Miles, 56, was arraigned for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, petit larceny and criminal diversion of a prescription.

Miles has already served four state prison terms and been in the county jail several times. He is currently in the jail in Albion on $10,000 bail.

He was arrested last month for burglary after he entered an acquaintance’s house and took prescription drugs. An investigation by Albion police led to additional charges against Miles.

In other arraignments in court today:

• Three people appeared in court for promoting prison contraband in the first degree.

Joshua J. Johnson, 38, of Waterford faces four counts of first-degree promoting prison contraband for allegedly smuggling contraband into Albion Correctional Facility, State Police said. He also faces three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. He and a codefendant are accused of bringing Buprenorphine, an opioid medication, into the prison.

Rebecca L. Bradford, 33, also of Waterford also faces four counts of promoting prison contraband, while Sarah MacDonald, an inmate at the prison, faces one count of promoting prison contraband.

Bradford and Johnson both live in Albany County. Judge Sanford Church decided against bail for Bradford but set bail at $25,000 for Johnson.

Jason P. Muck, 40, of Lyndonville was arraigned for felony driving while intoxicated. He was charged after being stopped on March 30 by state police on Route 63 in the Town of Yates.

He is free on $750 bail.

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Several are sentenced in county court, including Albion man for rape

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 August 2018 at 5:03 pm

ALBION – An Albion man was sentenced to 4 years in state prison for second-degree rape.

Quintion K. Wilson, 21, was charged in December after he allegedly forcibly raped a girl less than 15 years old.

Judge Charles Zambito of Genesee County said Wilson “has a pattern of sexual contact with minors.”

The judge gave Wilson the maximum as part of a plea deal. Wilson also will be on post-release supervision for 10 years. Zambito issued an order of protection for the victim in the case until 2032.

Nathan Pace, Wilson’s attorney, asked for less than the maximum.

“He took responsibility immediately,” Pace said. “He’s remorseful.”

In other cases last Thursday in Orleans County Court:

• A Holley man was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison for promoting prison contraband.

Joshua Grosskopf, 28, tried to bring drugs into the county jail.

Grosskopf apologized in court and said he regretted his actions will keep him away from his children.

“I was wrong,” he said. “It’s hard. I don’t want them to grow up without their father.”

Grosskopf, a second felony offender, has been making progress with sobriety, his attorney Michael O’Keefe told the judge.

• A former Albion resident was sentenced to three months in jail and five years probation for unlawful surveillance.

Jeremy Cooper, 41, now lives in Livingston County. He was arrested in October after placing a hidden camera in a couple’s bathroom. The couple also has children.

“I want to apologize,” Cooper said during sentencing. “I wasn’t in my right mind. I’ve done a lot to become clean and sober.”

Zambito said Cooper betrayed his friends’ trust with the crime.
“This is the kind of case where it’s hard to measure the amount of damage that is done,” he said. “These types of crimes go much deeper.”

Jade Fayko, 21, of Holley was sentenced to intermittent jail for six months for violating her probation. She was sentenced to three years of probation in December and was ordered to pay $100 a month in restitution until she pays $2,666 as part of a grand larceny crime.

Fayko has paid the full amount each month, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failed to notify probation of that charge, and went to Monroe County without probation’s permission. She will be in jail two days a week so she can work at her job.

Mark Hill, 59, was sentenced to four months of weekends in jail plus five years of probation for felony driving while intoxicated. He also needs to use an ignition interlock device that measures his Blood Alcohol Content when he drives in the future.

• A Rochester man pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and faces of a maximum of three years in state prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 15.

Troy Dukes, 24, was charged in October after a traffic stop when he was found with heroin on East State Street in Albion. He admitted in court he was trying to sell heroin in Albion.

Ryan Childs, 24,of Hilton pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired by drugs and could face up to a year in jail when he is sentenced n on Nov. 15. He was stopped in Murray on Nov. 17, 2017.

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Medina woman praised by judge for completing diversion program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 August 2018 at 9:27 am

Several others in program struggle to meet standards

ALBION – A Medina woman graduated from a judicial diversion program on Thursday after staying off drugs for a year.

Jenia Suarez-Jimenez, 27, of Medina had a felony charge dismissed and she was instead charged with a misdemeanor. She doesn’t have to spend any time in jail.

She was charged in April 2017 with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, which carries a maximum of 2 ½ years in state prison. She admitted in court a year ago to selling hydrocodone in Medina and western Orleans County.

Suarez-Jimenez was praised by Judge Charles Zambito and District Attorney Joe Cardone for completing the diversion program.

“We wish her well in the future and hopefully she doesn’t have any future incidents,” Cardone said in court.

Zambito commended her for her persistence in completing the program.

“I want to congratulate you,” he said. “It is a very beneficial result for you. If you follow through and are committed, there can be a substantial benefit to everyone.”

Others in judicial diversion aren’t doing as well as Suarez-Jimenez.

Cynthia Lopez-Lopez, 40, of Brockport was accepted into the diversion program in September 2017. She was arrested in April 2017 after allegedly selling suboxone in Albion. She pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, which carries a maximum of 1 to 2 ½ years in prison as a first-time felon.

She was expelled from the diversion program after allegedly having drugs brought to the county jail.

She will be sentenced on Nov. 1 on a felony charge and could face incarceration.

If she had completed the diversion program, the felony would have been dismissed and she instead would have received a misdemeanor with no jail.

Jocelyn Munn, 23, of Medina was terminated from the judicial diversion program on Thursday. She admitted to violating terms of the program.

She will be sentenced on Nov. 1 for a felony of fourth-degree grand larceny. She faces a maximum of 1 to 3 years in state prison after she allegedly stole jewelry worth more than $8,500.

If she had been successful in the diversion program, the felony would have been dismissed and she would instead be sentenced to a misdemeanor.

Olivia Holloway, 40, of Shelby could be kicked out of the diversion program after she was charged in Monroe County with having cocaine. Holloway asked for another opportunity to stay in the program. She said it was her first lapse in 11 months.

“I’m just asking for a second chance,” Holloway said the Judge Zambito.

He set a hearing for 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 6 to determine whether Holloway will stay in the program.

If she is expelled, she could be sentenced to incarceration.

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Albion attorney pleads guilty to scheme to defraud and could face prison sentence

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2018 at 3:17 pm

ALBION – An Albion attorney pleaded guilty today to scheme to defraud and could face up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Kevin Allen

Kevin R. Allen, 32, admitted today in Orleans County Court to scheme to defraud in the first and third degrees.

Charles Zambito, acting judge in the case, asked Allen if he engaged in a systematic scheme to defraud 10 or more people from July 2013 to January 2018.

Allen said he did.

Zambito also asked Allen if he obtained property from one or more people as part of the scheme.

Allen said he did.

He was arrested in January following complaints of misconduct from two separate clients.

One client alleged that Allen was paid for attorney services to commence divorce proceedings and was then advised the divorce was finalized when in fact, the process had not been started, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office said in January.

A second client told Sheriff’s investigators that Allen was hired to bring a civil lawsuit against certain companies and assist in collecting monies owed from a divorce. Allen allegedly collected more than $57,000 from the victim and had not filed any claims on behalf of his client, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

In court today, the names were read from 15 total victims.

Zambito said Allen will have to surrender his law license as part of the plea deal.

The judge told Allen he could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 1, but the judge hasn’t decided on the punishment.

“I don’t know what I’m going to sentence you to, but you are taking a chance it could be prison,” Zambito told Allen, who wanted to go forward with the plea today.

Allen remains free on $10,000 bail.

The Niagara County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case because Allen served as an intern in the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office several years ago.

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2 plead guilty after robbery at Medina park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2018 at 11:39 am

ALBION – Two Lockport men pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court after a robbery at State Street Park on March 8.

Deandre Reed, 20, allegedly displayed a weapon in taking money and a cell phone from two strangers at the park. The weapon turned out to be a toy gun.

Reed appeared in court last Thursday and pleaded guilty to attempted robbery in the first degree and could face up to five years in state prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 25.

A codefendant, Robert Holmes, pleaded guilty to petit larceny and could face up to a year in jail when he is sentenced on Oct. 25.

In another case, Gerardo Quiros pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors after he allegedly barged into a home on Root Road in Barre and tried to drag his girlfriend out of the house by her feet. He was stopped by her brother, who made Quiros leave at gunpoint.

Quiros during an appearance on Aug. 7 pleaded guilty to criminal trespass in the second degree and attempted unlawful imprisonment in the first degree. He will be sentenced on Sept. 17. Any incarceration will be served with a sentence for a more serious crime.

Quiros in July was found guilty of sexual assault and rape charges. He allegedly held a woman against her will for several weeks, while physically and sexually assaulting her. He was convicted by a jury and will be sentenced at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17.

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Holley man sentenced to state prison for DWI

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2018 at 2:55 pm

ALBION – A Holley man was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison today for felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

James Nottingham, 38, of Thomas Street has three prior felonies and seven previous misdemeanors, District Attorney Joe Cardone said.

The DA asked County Court Judge Sanford Church to sentence Nottingham to incarceration, “considering his conduct and prior criminal history.”

Joanne Best, the public defender, asked for probation or a split sentence with local jail time. She said Nottingham has been working full-time the past 10 months and the DWI on Feb. 6 in Murray was his first criminal since 2013, and first crime involving alcohol since 2009.

“I messed up by drinking,” Nottingham told Judge Church. “The only thing I can do is move on with my life. I have a good job and want to take care of my kids.”

Nottingham also was ordered to pay court surcharges and a fine of $1,000.

In other cases in County Court today:

• A Buffalo man who fired a gun inside O’Brien’s Tavern on Dec. 10 was to be sentenced today but that was moved back until Sept. 13 so a presentence investigation report could be completed by the Probation Department.

Patrick Casanova, 24, has been in the Niagara County Jail for a drug possession charge. He wanted to be sentenced today for criminal possession of weapon in the second degree. But Cardone and Judge Church both wanted to have the presentence investigation report completed before sentencing.

Casanova could face up to 7 years in state prison for the charge in Orleans County. Casanova wasn’t targeting anyone when he fired the gun into the ceiling at O’Brien’s, police said.

• A Medina woman pleaded guilty to attempted hindering of criminal prosecution in the second degree and could face up to 60 days in jail and three years on probation.

Nikki Buzard admitted in court today to driving a car and taking two co-defendants away from State Street Park in Medina after the two allegedly robbed two people at gunpoint on March 8.

Buzard could have faced up to a year in jail, but as part of a plea deal the sentence will be no more than 60 days in jail.

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Medina man sentenced to 3 years in prison on weapons charge

Staff Reports Posted 23 July 2018 at 2:14 pm

Dino Callara

ALBION – A Medina resident was sentenced to 3 years in state prison during Orleans County Court this morning.

Dino Callara, 50, of Slade Road was arrested in February for criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree following an investigation by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

Callara is a two-time convicted felon who allegedly possessed and sold a firearm in November 2017.

Callara was also arrested on a separate charge of grand larceny in the 4th degree after he allegedly was hired to install a transmission in the victim’s vehicle in October 2017. Without the victim’s consent, he sold the vehicle for scrap metal at Dunn Salvage in Niagara County.

As part of a plea deal, the larceny charge was dismissed but Callara admitted to criminal possession of a weapon.

He also has to pay the larceny victim $3,800 in restitution.

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