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Two Watertown men arrested in multi-agency burglary investigation


State police say two Watertown men, including a state corrections officer, are being charged in the investigation of a rash of burglaries and thefts at businesses and construction sites throughout Jefferson County.

Subsequent to the arrests Wednesday of Jedadiah D. Romeo, 30, and Aaron A. Netto, 35, police are promising “strict confidence” for anyone who believes they may have purchased stolen property from the suspects and volunteers information. Otherwise, police advise, further arrests of people who don’t cooperate is likely.

Mr. Romeo, 19193 County Route 63, is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary. He was being held Thursday in the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building with bail set at $500 by town of Watertown Justice David A. Renzi.

Mr. Netto, 22596 Ridgeview Road, is free on $2,000 bail, also set by Justice Renzi, and is facing a charge of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony.

While more charges are anticipated in the continuing investigation, state police alleged in court documents that Mr. Romeo burglarized the facilities of several contracting companies at the Samaritan Summit Village construction site, Summit Drive, on the night of Aug. 25, and again on the night of Sept. 9. The value of stolen property in the intrusions is listed at $8,900.

Alleged stolen property valued at about $3,000 was recovered on property owned by Mr. Netto on County Route 159 in the town of Watertown, police said. Among seized items, according to a court document, were a refrigerator, generator, power saw, skid hog and scaffolding. Mr. Netto “knowingly possessed stolen property and was engaged in buying and selling stolen property from Jedadiah Romeo and others,” police alleged.

Mr. Netto has been a corrections officer since Sept. 28, 1998, and has been stationed since September 2006 at Riverview Correctional Facility, Ogdensburg, according to a Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokeswoman. He was suspended Thursday without pay from his $60,593 base salary position, she said.

Previously a state provisional conservation officer, Mr. Netto had two prior arrests, both involving hunting incidents. He was convicted of trespassing in the town of Brownville in 2002 for hunting rabbits on private property and was charged in December 2009 in the town of Rodman with trespassing and failing to produce a hunting license. That case, according to the Jefferson County district attorney’s office, is still open, awaiting trial.

Mr. Romeo was sentenced in January in Jefferson County Court to three years’ probation for petit larceny and second-degree criminal trespassing. The conviction stemmed from a theft of cash at his family’s business, Nelson’s Dry Cleaning and Formal Wear, 1171 Coffeen St. He was convicted of fourth-degree criminal mischief in 2002 for damaging 27 saplings along Myrtle Avenue and Thompson Boulevard.

Involved in the investigation with state police are Watertown police, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force, the Fort Drum Criminal Investigations Division and the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

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