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Massena woman fined for driving boyfriend to burglary site


MASSENA - A 24-year-old Massena woman has been fined for driving her boyfriend to a Rooseveltown Road location where he reportedly stole metal from a vacant farm.

Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow fined Crystina M. Prescott of 351 East Orvis St. $100 and a $125 surcharge for a fourth-degree criminal facilitation conviction. She was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay $50 to have her DNA sample placed on file.

Massena-based state police had charged Daniel A. Zera Jr., 31, of Massena with third-degree burglary, criminal possession of burglar tools and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon following an investigation into an incident at 6:33 p.m. May 7 on Rooseveltown Road.

Prescott had initially been charged with third-degree burglary in connection with that incident. Zera was charged with entering outbuildings at a vacant farm at 369 Rooseveltown Road and removing copper wire and cable after being driven to the site by Prescott. The property is owned by Ellen B. Ayotte.

Troopers said Zera also claimed ownership of two double-edged daggers found in the trunk of the vehicle being driven by Prescott.

“I told her to pull over, and I was getting out. She pulled over, and I grabbed my back pack. I walked around and smoked a marijuana joint outside of a barn,” he noted in the statement he reportedly signed for troopers.

Prescott, in her statement to police, said the couple have been experiencing financial problems and were behind on paying their rent and bills. She said on a previous trip to the reservation to buy cigarettes they had seen two people walking out of what appeared to be an abandoned barn on the Rooseveltown Road with buckets that Zera figured contained scrap metal.

“When Danny saw those kids, he mentioned that they probably had copper in the buckets, and there was probably more in the building, and he could probably get $20 worth of copper from there. Danny talks about stealing when he wants money and is sick of being behind,” she told police, noting she hadn’t paid much attention to his rant.

She said she always tells her boyfriend to just wait and they will figure something out, but she said it is difficult to change Zera’s mind after he develops a plan. She said on the evening of May 7 when they were leaving for the reservation she saw her boyfriend grab the bookbag that she knew contained wire snippers.

“I then knew he would want me to drop him off by that barn on Rooseveltown Road so he could steal some copper. I told him that I was going to get some cigarettes but I wasn’t going to drop him off there and that he was stupid,” she said, noting he replied by asking her if she was sick of being poor. “I was thinking the way Danny wanted to get money, by stealing from the barn, was not the way for us to get money and that we should get it honestly.”

She said tensions were high on the road trip because her boyfriend knew she was mad at him. But she said she did drop him off just before the Hall Road.

“I was mad because I knew he was going to steal copper from that barn. I didn’t notify the police because I love Danny, and I didn’t want him to get in any trouble. I figured since it looked like an abandoned building it wouldn’t be a big deal for him to take copper from there,” Prescott added.

In other recent court action before Judge Sharlow:

■ David A. Grant, 47, of 333 Pontoon Road, Massena, was granted a one-year adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, and the court signed an order of protection directing him not to harass his ex-wife.

He had initially been charged with a felony count of first-degree criminal contempt and a second-degree harassment violation on Feb. 23.

He allegedly violated an order of protection that morning at his residence when he shoved his ex-wife, Alissa J. Grant, in the head two times while she was in her vehicle in Grant’s driveway.

According to court documents, Ms. Grant went to Mr. Grant’s residence to drop off dance clothes for their daughter, and a verbal argument broke out when he told her their daughter wasn’t at his residence.

She said he became agitated when she asked him if he was taking their daughter to dance and followed her when she went back to her vehicle.

Mr. Grant had also been placed under a one-year adjournment in contemplation of dismissal in March 2011 in a case where he had been charged with shoving Ms. Grant when she reportedly entered his home to pick up clothing during a child visitation exchange.

■ Jonathan P. Lazore, 20, of 1119 state Route 37, Hogansburg, was fined $300 and a $260 surcharge for a driving while ability impaired by drugs. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge and had his operating privileges suspended for 90 days.

U.S. Customs and Border Protections agents said they observed Lazore smoking a marijuana cigarette as he was driving northbound through the U.S. port of entry in Rooseveltown at 1 a.m. March 22. When his vehicle was stopped by agents, he admitted he had been smoking marijuana all day, court documents said. A blood test sample tested positive for THC, the chemical present in marijuana.

■ Clifford A. Dodge, 48, of 2390 County Route 38, Brasher, was fined $300 and a $260 surcharge after a driving while intoxicated charge was reduced to driving while ability impaired. His operating privileges were suspended for 90 days, and he was ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

Dodge reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.17 percent when he was stopped by state troopers at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 14 on state Route 420. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher constitutes a DWI count in the state.

■ Brian E. Stoddard, 21, of 2264 state Route 420, Massena, was granted a six-month adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation he abide by the terms of an order of protection directing him not to stay away from Raymond T. Clark.

Stoddard reportedly sent text messages to Mr. Clark warning the alleged victim that if he kept running his mouth he was going to call Child Protective Services to tell them Mr. Clark was allowing Mr. Stoddard’s daughter to be around a pyscho and threatened to have him arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.

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