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Grand jury issues burglary indictments

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CANTON — Two Gouverneur men have been indicted by a St. Lawrence County grand jury in connection with a string of burglaries last summer.

Justin L. Chalupa, 22, and Tyler W. Wells, 21, each was indicted on two counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of petit larceny and third degree criminal trespassing, according to documents handed up Thursday.

Investigators said Chalupa, Wells and another man, Craig M. Murdie, 21, broke into a home on Route 22 in Fowler, a Bressett Road home in the town of Gouverneur and a National Grid power station in Fowler.

Mr. Murdie previously pleaded guilty in St. Lawrence County Court to satisfy charges in this and other outstanding cases, Assistant District Attorney Amanda N. Nissen said.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duvé said the prosecution is prepared to take the case against Chalupa and Wells to trial.

An air conditioner and two large spools of wire were reported missing from the garage of the Bressett Road home, police said. The Route 22 home reportedly was abandoned, and details on that case have not been released.

Wells reportedly admitted to stealing copper from the National Grid station, leading to the grand larceny charges for him, Chalupa and Murdie, troopers have said.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Murdie and a fourth Gouverneur resident, Ashley D. Fifield, 27 — who was not mentioned in the indictment — were in possession of scrap metal stolen from the town of Philadelphia, leading to their charges of criminal possession of stolen property.

Murdie, now an inmate at Riverview Correctional Facility, was sentenced last week to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison in Jefferson County Court for a Nov. 27 guilty plea to two counts of third-degree burglary as a result of separate incidents in Watertown and Philadelphia. The sentence will run concurrently with two consecutive two- to six-year terms, or four to 12 years, imposed in October in St. Lawrence County Court for two third-degree burglary convictions.

Fifield pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Court last month to third-degree attempted burglary. He is expected to be sentenced Feb. 22 to time served at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Buildingand five years’ probation.

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