GNH Lumber February 2024

Phony checks charge lands Copake man back in jail


GREENPORT–George D. Johnson, 37, of Copake was charged with two counts of second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument (D felony), two counts of first degree falsifying business records (E felony) and two counts of petit larceny (A misdemeanor) by Livingston State Police, September 17.

Mr. Johnson allegedly possessed forged personal checks belonging to another person and cashed the checks to receive a monetary benefit, according to State Police.

Mr. Johnson is currently on felony probation in connection with his apprehension by State Police during the commission of a burglary at Cantele’s Laserwash in Greenport, February 7, 2011. He was ultimately convicted. In that case, it was determined that Mr. Johnson committed at least 12 burglaries at the Laserwash and stole in excess of $12,000 in cash.

Mr. Johnson was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Robert Brenzel on the current charges and committed to the Columbia County Jail without bail. He is due to back in Greenport Court September 20.


Steven Rodriguez, 21, of Craryville pled guilty to a single count indictment charging him with unlawfully dealing in firearms in Federal District Court, Albany, September 10.

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph A. Anarumo and Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr., made the announcement in a press release.

During his plea, Mr. Rodriguez admitted that between February 15 and August 31, 2011, he sold a number of firearms without having the federally-required license to do so. He was arrested for the crime on February 14 of this year.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 18 before Chief United States District Court Judge Gary E. Sharpe. Mr. Rodriguez faces a maximum of five years imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000.

This prosecution resulted from a joint investigation by the United States

Attorney’s Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Agency Capital District Drug Task Force, and the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team/Gun Investigation Unit.


State Police at Livingston investigated a one-car personal injury accident on East Kerley Corners Road, Clermont, September 17 at 4:17 p.m.

A vehicle driven by Jasmine Quinn, 21, of Red Hook left the roadway for an unknown reason and struck a tree. A LifeNet helicopter took the patient from Livingston Fire Station #1 to the Albany Medical Center with serious injuries.  State Police were assisted by Livingston firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics and Greenport Rescue Squad. Firefighters were back in service at 5:33 p.m.


Tara Duffy, 32, of Patterson was charged with second degree criminal impersonation of a public servant, second degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speed in excess of state speed limit, operating without a driver’s license and use of motor vehicle without an interlock device by Deputy Louis Bray, September 7 at 8:20 p.m.

Ms. Duffy was pulled over on the Taconic State Parkway for speeding. When Deputy Bray interviewed Ms. Duffy, she allegedly identified herself as an off-duty police officer but was unable to produce identification. It was subsequently determined that she was not a police officer.

Arraigned in Austerlitz Court before Justice Robert Lagonia, Ms. Duffy was sent to the county jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail or $3,000 bail bond. She was directed to return to court at a later date.


The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Gina Ford, 33, of Valatie was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired by drugs by Kinderhook State Police during a traffic stop by for having an expired inspection sticker, September 6 at 3:40 p.m. Upon interviewing Ms. Ford, troopers determined she was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. She was taken to a local hospital to obtain a blood sample. Ms. Ford was issued tickets returnable in Kinderhook Town Court.

*Shawn J. Sauca, 34, of East Chatham was charged with driving while intoxicated by Livingston State Police, September 15 at 5:21 p.m. Troopers pulled Mr. Sauca over for failure to stay in his designated lane on County Route 22, Ghent. Mr. Sauca was found to be intoxicated and placed into custody. He submitted to a breath test which revealed a .21% blood alcohol content. He was issued tickets returnable in Ghent Court.

To contact Diane Valden email

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