News

 A Troy man is facing drug charges following a two month joint investigation by the DEA and the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office.

James M. Brennan, 27, is being charged with a fifteen count sealed indictment, all felony charges, with the top count being criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, a class A-1 felony.

A search warrant was executed at 1889 Highland Avenue on the 2nd floor in the City of Troy where investigators recovered evidence relating to the distribution of narcotics.

Brennan is currently being held in the Rensselaer County Jail.

“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to stemming the tide of illegal narcotic distribution throughout Rensselaer County. We are grateful for the assistance and partnership the DEA provides in helping to accomplish this mission,” said Undersheriff Pat Russo.

 

RENSSELAER COUNTY SHERIFF JACK MAHAR’S CORRECTIONS DIVISION TO RECEIVE ACCREDITATION FROM NYS SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION

Accreditation Recognition will be presented at a Ceremony at the Rensselaer County Public Safety Building; the Public is Invited to Attend  

Troy, NY – September 4, 2015 – Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar will receive recognition for the Accreditation of his Corrections Division on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. NYS Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Peter Kehoe will present accreditation credentials to Sheriff Mahar in a ceremony to be held at the Rensselaer County Public Safety Building at 400 Main Street in Troy, NY at 10 am. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and a short Open House following; tours of the jail will be offered. 

“Achieving accreditation takes hard work by a lot of people. Sheriff Mahar, Undersheriff Patrick Russo, Chief of Corrections Edward Bly, and the entire staff of the Corrections Division deserve to be recognized for this achievement,” Mr. Kehoe said.

“Fewer than half of the state’s 62 counties have qualified for corrections division accreditation,” said Sheriff Mahar.  “Earning accreditation requires that a very stringent list of 166 standards are met. It really does show that members of our office are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in their profession, in order to best serve the citizens of our county," he said.

The following individuals who spearheaded the effort to earn the accreditations will be recognized at the ceremony: Chief of Corrections Edward Bly, Accreditation Manager Greg Buell, Lieutenant Stacey Sauer, and Nurse Administrator Heather Holliday

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State. 

Sheriff Jack Mahar reports: A Troy man is facing drug charges following a two month joint investigation by the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Albany, and Troy Police Department.

Theodore C. Leonil, 44, is being charged with two counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, one count of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, one count of fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one count of fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

A search warrant was executed at 220 1st Street in the basement apartment in the City of Troy where investigators recovered 22.8 grams of heroin, 11.9 grams of crack cocaine, packaging materials, $3,670.00 of US Currency, and .45 caliber ammunition. The seized narcotics have an estimated street value of approximately $7,500.

Leonil is currently being held in the Rensselaer County Jail without bail.

“The Sheriff’s Office will continue to partner with other agencies in an attempt to eradicate narcotic activity in Rensselaer County,” said Undersheriff Pat Russo.

Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office
Participates in LEADership Project to help combat gang involvement in Troy

May 2015: Sheriff Jack Mahar reports – Rensselaer County Deputies Jeff Russo and Jim Phelps participated in the new LEADership Project, introduced by the U.S. Attorney and Troy leaders earlier this year, in an effort to combat gangs and keep students from joining them. 

Deputies Russo and Phelps visited 22 students in Ms. Colleen Denio’s fifth grade class at Carroll Hill School in Troy NY.  Their program was designed to educate students about the realities of gang life and the alternatives that exist to avoid gang affiliation or involvement. Deputy Russo stressed the importance of self-esteem - to give yourself value, and that the choices you make in life will follow you. Make constructive choices not destructive.

Students were encouraged to write down their goals- to look at them often, and make changes to them as time goes on in a positive way. They were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts on gangs and what steps they should take to stay out of them. Students who participated received a star and all received a certificate of completion at the end of the final class.

The Deputies answered questions and explained the role law enforcement plays in keeping communities safe from gang violence.  When asked what it was like to spend time in jail, Deputy Russo said, “jail is not a fun place at all-you lose your rights and your freedom”. He explained to the students the importance of establishing good friendships and to follow others involved in good social settings. He exposed the myths of gang life and how dangerous they really are.

The officers showed students the human face of the law and lead sessions on topics like victim impact and understanding the judicial system. Their focus was to build a relationship between our youth and law enforcement, while developing mutual understanding and trust.

 

Troy NY Arrest, May 2015 - Sheriff Jack Mahar reports as a result of a 4 month investigation Rensselaer County Sheriff's Investigators arrested Chaz R. Masterson, age 23, of 48 south Lake Ave, Troy NY. Masterson was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th Degree (D-Felony) and Criminal Possession of Marihuana 4th Degree (A-Misd). If convicted Masterson could serve up to 7 years in jail.

A search warrant was executed at Masterson's residence and Investigators recovered 7 ounces of Marihuana, 23.9 grams of Dab (hash oil) $17,000.00 in U.S. currency, scales, packaging materials, and propane tanks.

Masterson was arraigned in Schaghticoke Town Court and released to probation Day Reporting.

"Dabs are a highly potent form of hash oil," said Undersheriff Pat Russo, "this hash oil can have a THC content of 60% or higher." "dab has made its way to the East Coast after becoming very popular on the West Coast and Colorado," said Undersheriff Russo, "Butane is used in the process of extracting the THC from the marihuana bud and there have been reports of fire and explosions as a result of people making dab."

Heroin Arrest In Town Of Schodack

 On April 29, 2015 Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar reports that as a result of a three month joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Watervliet and Schodack Police Departments, a 31 year old Schodack man was arrested and charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance.

Jeffrey Letzelter was arrested at 2:45pm Thursday afternoon.  During the course of the investigation authorities had developed information that Jeffrey Letzelter uses his mother’s residence located at 279 County Route 7 in the Town of Schodack to stash his drugs.

A search warrant was obtained and executed at the above location and during the search police discovered 1,550 bags of heroin and $7,000 US currency. The seized heroin has a street value of $15,000.

Jeffrey Letzelter is currently in Albany County Jail on the charge of Criminal Sale and will be charged in Rensselaer County for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell.

Investigators developed information during the investigation that led them to believe that Jeffrey Letzelter was supplying heroin to individuals in the Schodack, Averill Park area, as well as parts of Albany County.

“This arrest is a major strike against heroin distribution in Rensselaer County, especially in the Schodack, Averill Park area, and reinforces the strategy of law enforcement agencies working together sharing intelligence and resources to achieve a common goal. I commend the efforts of the aforementioned agencies and the dedication of all personnel involved in the investigation and the eventual arrest of the individual, while improving the quality of life in our communities,” said Undersheriff Pat Russo.

Arrest Cameron ConeryWest Sand Lake- As a result of a 3 month investigation, the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on April 2nd at 17 Morlock Drive in the Town of West Sand Lake.  The investigation was initiated by the actions of an alert deputy who was patrolling the area and observed suspicious activity in January. 

Cameron Conery, age 26 of West Sand Lake was arrested and charged with one count each of Criminal Possession of Marihuana, 1st degree (felony) and Unlawful Grow Cannabis (misdemeanor).  He was arraigned before the Hon. Judge Fryer of Sand Lake, and remanded to the Rensselaer County Jail on $2,500 bail.

Investigators seized 96 marihuana plants in various stages of growth, weighing nearly 50 pounds.  The residence was equipped with a sophisticated indoor growing system along with a supply of fertilizers, scales and packaging materials.  It is estimated that this could have produced approximately $45,000 of income for the defendant.

Undersheriff Patrick Russo states “This is a textbook example of a Deputy who was diligent in his duties and aware of his surroundings taking the initiative to develop information for our investigators to follow through on, leading to this arrest and enhancing the quality of life for the community.”

TROY- March 31, 2015. Rensselaer County Sheriffs’ Deputies were attempting to locate a subject who was wanted by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office for narcotic charges.

Ira D. GambleDeputies had information that the subject was operating a black Cadillac and was in possession of a hand gun. Deputies located a black Cadillac at Stewards at 112th St. and observed a female associated with the wanted subject exit the vehicle, as the Deputies approached the vehicle the driver sped away and led the Deputies on a chase through the city of Cohoes and back into Troy, where he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. He was apprehended a short distance from the car.

While traveling through Cohoes the suspect vehicle struck a vehicle operated by a female who refused medical attention at the scene.

Deputies arrested Ira D. Gamble, age 59 from Poestenkill NY, who is on parole for narcotic charges and has multiple felony connections for drug charges- including sale.

Gamble was not the subject of the Saratoga Sheriff’s investigation; however Deputies are looking into a connection between the two individuals.

Gamble was charged with resisting arrest and several vehicle and traffic violation and is facing charges in Cohoes. Gamble was arraigned in Troy City Count by the Honorable Chris Maier and was remanded to Rensselaer County Jail on $5,000 bond or cash bail.  

Heroin Arrest
Arrested: Jason A. GibbsBrunswick- On Wednesday March 4th, 2015 Sheriff Jack Mahar reports the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 622 ½ Hoosick Road Apartment # 1 after a three month long Narcotics Investigation. Investigators seized 93 bags of heroin, a street value of $1,000 and materials used to package heroin for sale from the residence.

The only occupant of the residence, Jason A. Gibbs, 36, was taken into custody and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, both felonies. Gibbs was arraigned before the

Honorable Judge Jaime Thomas in the Schaghticoke Town Court and remanded to the Rensselaer County Jail without bail.

“I commend the efforts of our investigators who are committed to combating the heroin epidemic in our county. The arrest of a heroin dealer has a direct affect on the quality of life in our communities,” said Undersheriff Pat Russo “this arrest was a result of a tip provided to a uniform patrol officer and is a textbook example of the community and police working together to fight crime.”

 

Heroin Arrest

2015 Schaghticoke- Sheriff Jack Mahar reports as a result of a three month investigation, Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 1145 River Rd. in the Town of Schaghticoke.

Dylan J. Dinardo, age 24, was arrested and charged with Four Counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, 3rd degree (B Felony). Dinardo was arraigned in Schaghticoke Town Court before the Honorable Judge Jamie Thomas and remanded to the Rensselaer County Jail pending a February 13th court date.

Seized during the search was 51 grams of cocaine, over 36 grams of heroin, 17 bundles of heroin packaged for sale, US currency and packaging materials.

The Sheriff’s office was assisted by NYS Parole Officers in conducting the search.

 “Our investigators and Deputies are working vigorously to address the problem of illegal drugs in Rensselaer County. The fact that heroin was seized makes this investigation even more of a success, and in light of the increased number of heroin overdoses in recent years it may have prevented another tragedy,” says Undersheriff Pat Russo.

  Texting Option Added to Crime Victim Notification System2014 Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar Announces Key Improvement to Existing Notification System.  This new enhancement to the New York Sheriffs’ Victim Hotline (VINE) will enable crime victims to receive a text message notification in the event of any change in the custody status of an offender incarcerated in a county correctional facility in New York State or a correctional facility in New York City.

VINE allows crime victims to learn the custody status of an offender, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by telephone or online. This new notification option, “SMS Text Messaging Notification,” adds text messaging to the existing notification options. The additional outbound notification method will be in Spanish and English.

 “Crime victims need and want timely and accurate offender information to proactively ensure their personal safety and that of their families. I applaud the addition of texting and predict crime victims will embrace this new technology,” said Sheriff Mahar.

In 2014, almost 2.8 million crime victims searched the VINE Database, using either the toll free number (1-888-VINE-4-NY), the VINEMobile app, the Sheriffs Mobile Patrol App (both available for IPhone and Android), or the website (VineLink.com).  Also in 2014, over 100,000 crime victims received notification of a change in their offender’s status either by phone or email. It is anticipated that the addition of the text messaging option will result in even more crime victims receiving timely notification of vital offender information. “I welcome this new feature as my office continues to seek ways to better serve the public safety needs of the citizens of Rensselaer County,” said Sheriff Mahar.

 

Sheriff Welcomes Campers

 

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