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Troopers bust man who ran in front of cars, say he’s a fugitive


GALLATIN–An attendee of the Big Up music festival in Ghent faces drug and fugitive charges.

State Police at Livingston were called to investigate a 911 call about a person jumping in front of cars on the Taconic State Parkway late Saturday night, July 30. Trooper John Reppucci found the man lying in the grass at the Gallatin overlook.

Christian F. Sagarese, 25, of addresses in Long Island and Florida was wanted by Michigan State Police on felony drug charges and was arrested as a fugitive from justice. The subsequent investigation revealed that Mr. Sagarese had more than 10 ounces of concentrated cannabis (hashish) and more than 25 milligrams of hallucinogenic mushrooms in his possession.

Police say he was on his way home from the Big Up music festival on Arch Bridge Road. He was charged with third degree criminal possession of controlled substance, a class B felony, two counts of fourth degree criminal possession of controlled substance, class C felonies, and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. He was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail following arraignment by Taghkanic Town Justice Robert Prochera.

Greene County

Three men were charged with violating the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) quarantine on exporting certain wood products from Greene County, July 25.

The state’s eastern quarantine was established in September 2010 to prevent the export of the highly destructive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) from Greene and Ulster counties.

After an investigation by DEC and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, the three men were charged with four counts each of violating the Greene County ash quarantine order.

Charged were Jeff Meltz, vice president of Meltz Lumber Company in Hudson; Forest Mayer, president of Forest Mayer Log &Timber Company in Bennington, VT; and Paul Kelly of Paul Kelly Trucking in Catskill. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned August 18 at 4 p.m. in Catskill Town Court. Each defendant faces up to a $1,000 fine with the possibility of additional civil penalties and up to 60 days in jail.

The alleged violations occurred on at least eight different occasions during the months of February, March and April of this year. The ash logs originated from a site on Game Farm Road in Catskill, as well as, two other Greene County locations and were exported to sites in Rensselaer and Columbia counties.

The EAB is a non-native, wood-boring pest that feeds on North American ash trees. This extremely destructive beetle poses an enormous threat to North America’s rural and urban ash resources. Eighteen counties in New York State are under quarantine due to EAB infestations, including Ulster and Greene counties in the eastern portion of the state.

For more information about invasive insects, visit DEC’s website


Sheriff’s Investigator John Rivero and Deputy David Rose charged six people Tuesday, July 12 following an ongoing Welfare Fraud Task Force investigation, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr. The total amount of money allegedly stolen by those charged was $23,728. They are charged with filing false information, documents and/or intentionally not reporting status changes for benefits they were not entitled to.

Investigator Rivero and Department of Social Services Fraud Investigator Joshua Ryder, who are assigned to the county Welfare Fraud Task Force, began the investigation into these cases in January of this year.

The following is a list of those charged when they turned themselves in at the Sheriff’s Office along with the amount they are accused with taking through criminal and/or fraudulent conduct:

*Malana Morrison, 24, of Hudson, $1,646

*Jay O’Neil, 27, of Philmont, $1,930

*Elizabeth A. Poulter, 20, of Hudson, $1,226

*Denya Shumsky, 23, of Philmont, $6,719

*Eva Brodsky, 30, of Catskill, $7,149

*Jessica M. Carinci, 29, of New Lebanon, $5,057.

Each person was charged with fourth degree grand larceny and fourth degree welfare fraud, both a class E felonies. Ms. Poulter and Ms. Carinci were additionally charged with offering a false written instrument, also a class E felony. Ms. Shumsky and Ms. Brodsky were additionally charged with offering a false written statement, third degree welfare fraud and third degree grand larceny, class D felonies.

Arraigned before Hudson City Court Judge Richard Koweek, Ms. Morrison, Ms. Poulter and Ms. Brodsky were released on their own recognizance to return to city court at a later date.

Also arraigned by Judge Koweek, Ms. Carinci was sent to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond. Ms. Shumsky was released on $1,000 bail and Mr. O’Neil was jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or bail bond. They were ordered to return to city court at a later date.

The Sheriff’s Office, Department of Social Services, County Attorney’s Office and District Attorney’s Office make up the Columbia County Welfare Task Force. Since development of the task force by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors in April 2009, the county has realized a cost savings of $575,285. The savings so far this year is $80,748.

Sheriff Harrison said in a press release, “Anyone who is looking to obtain public assistance through fraudulent or criminal means need not apply in Columbia County.”


Mellenville firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Coarc’s headquarters, 630 Route 217, shortly before 7:30 a.m. July 27. They requested mutual aid from Claverack, Churchtown, Greenport, Philmont and West Ghent fire companies and Columbia County’s Fire Coordinators. Coarc employees safely evacuated the building. Coarc clients had not yet arrived by bus that morning. Smoke was contained in an administrative section of the building and there was no additional fire damage. Mellenville firefighters determined that an electric motor burned out in an air conditioning unit, which blew smoke down into offices. The county Department of Public Works provided facilities at Ockawamick for Coarc personnel and arriving clients until they could re-enter the Coarc building around 8:45 a.m.

“We are grateful for the immediate response of the fire coordinators and the volunteer firefighters. The safety and well-being of individuals experiencing disabilities and our employees are Coarc’s priorities at all of our offices, programs and residences throughout Columbia County. Volunteer fire and rescue companies are very important in the circle of support for the individuals we serve,” Bruce Drake, Coarc associate executive director, said in a press release.


A resident of the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth faces numerous charges after being arrested twice in two days. Evan Ferriter, 17, originally of Waterville, was first arrested for fourth degree criminal mischief and third degree assault after he allegedly threw a broken piece of pavement through the window of a van owned by the center, showering another resident with broken glass, August 1.

The 16-year-old victim was treated at Berkshire Medical Center and received 6 stitches in his arm. Evan was issued appearance tickets by Trooper Jenelle Wait and was released back to Berkshire Farm staff.

The next day, the teen allegedly struck and damaged the side view mirror of a car owned by a Berkshire Farm employee. He was charged with fourth degree criminal mischief by Trooper Bryan Cloutier and was arraigned in Austerlitz Town Court. He was ordered to return to answer all charges in Canaan Town Court August 11.

To contact Diane Valden email

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